1) Vince Staples Summertime 06 (Def Jam)
2) A$AP Rocky At.Long.Last.A$AP (RCA)
3) Drake If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late (Republic)
4) Slum Village Yes! (also in LP) (Nestra Music Group)
5) Pete Rock Petestrumentals 2 (Fat Beats) (also avail on vinyl)
One of this summer's signature hip-hop albums, especially for those in the same SoCal locale as its talented 22-year-old Long Beach creator Vince Staples, Summertime 06 continues to outsell every other new hip-hop album at Amoeba Hollywood this week where it's holding the number one slot. The Def Jam release, which had one of the year's most innovative rap videos for the album track "Senorita," just published another video from the album for track "Norf Norf." While a totally different style, it's another really great video from the rapper who deserves all the accolades he gets. The new music video (see below) perfectly matches the downtempo, moody, head-nodding beat-driven track. Throughout the video, as Vince raps the song's eerily repetitive refrain "I ain't never ran from nuthin but the police," he is seen being pushed and mistreated by the po-po, rapping from the back of the police car, and later down at the station as the cops shove his head into the ground. In a time when so many mainstream and major label artists tend to shy away from anything deemed slightly offensive to any group, Vince Staples is a breath of fresh air and an artist who will be around for a long time to come, I would bet.
Two veterans of the Bay Area shoegaze band Whirr make a wistful indie-pop record together that recalls the best of Sarah Records. Alexandra Morte’s vocals call to mind a young Bilinda Butcher of My Bloody Valentine, singing dreamily over acoustic guitars and light orchestral touches with cohort Nick Bassett. While it may not be the most original sound, Camera Shy’s eight songs are charming and sophisticated, emanating weary beauty on the rainy “Seemingly Ill” while charging through sunny environs on the jangly “Remember.” For fans of this kind of thing, Camera Shy are one of the best new bands around.
Patrick Stickles and co. return with an epic set of fist-pumping post-hardcore anthems. Centered around "Our Hero," The Most Lamentable Tragedy allows Stickles to remove himself to a degree from the narrative, and the result is that he sounds more liberated than ever, bellowing through self-effacing, existential tales of despair and coming out fighting. Despite its mammoth run-time and vague concept, The Most Lamentable Tragedy has plenty of scream-along moments, notably in the run of pub rock ballad "Mr. E Man" runs into the shake-you-by-the-shoulders fury of "Fired Up" and quick punk workout "Dimed Out" at the album's core. The only real tragedy here would be getting scared off by the album's length. It's at once an exhausting listen and one that leaves you feeling energized and ready to fuck shit up.
During last year's San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF), the curators of the festival presented by the Jewish Film Institute dedicated a whole event to "the original American Jewish rappers" the Beastie Boys. The music theme continues this year during the 35th annual 2015 SF JFF (July 23 to August 9th) when among the screenings will be the California premiere of the documentary on the tumultuous life and death of Adam Goldstein (better known as the late DJ AM) entitled As I AM: The Life and Times of DJ AM. The bio-documentary tells the bittersweet tale of the life of the DJ/remixer/producer/musician's rise to fame as superstar DJ on the Vegas strip, his early tireless, crate digging days, his underground club DJing days in LA in the '90s, his self-destructive substance abuse problems that he had put behind him, and his later membership of both Crazy Town and of TRV$DJAM along with Travis Barker.
Wax Idols – “Lonely You”
Oakland/L.A. post-punkers Wax Idols put out an excellent first album called Discipline & Desire on Slumberland in 2013. Now the band, fronted by the huskily voiced Heather Fortune, has unveiled the smoldering “Lonely You,” a wearily lovelorn ditty about letting go and looking up that sounds like a lost late-’80s goth-pop jam. It seems to say that sometimes you have to set everything on fire to see what’s left. American Tragic is due Oct. 16 via Collect.
YG – “Twist My Fingaz”
YG’s searingly honest tales of growing up in tough Compton were matched to catchy G-funk beats on his excellent debut, My Krazy Life. “Twist My Fingaz,” the first song revealed from the upcoming Still Krazy, has an awesome throwback feel without feeling limited, grooving effortlessly as YG does his thing, gets his drink and dance on and doesn’t sweat the trouble outside.
Originally a solo project of guitarist/pianist/vocalist Ben Gibbard, indie rock band Death Cab for Cutie formed in Bellingham, WA in 1997. The band's debut, Something About Airplanes, followed in 1998, with their sophomore release, We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes, appearing two years later. 2003's Transatlanticism saw the band achieving further success, with singles from the album receiving screen time on The O.C., Six Feet Under, Californication and CSI: Miami, as well as films Easy A and Wedding Crashers. In 2005, Death Cab made their major label debut with the Atlantic Records release Plans. Three years later, the band released Narrow Stairs, which would see them receive a Grammy nomination for the track "I Will Possess Your Heart." Codes and Keys hit stores in 2011, and in 2014 the band became a three-piece, consisting of Gibbard plus bassist Nick Harmer and drummer Jason McGerr. Death Cab released their eighth studio album, Kintsugi, in spring 2015.
The show begins at 8 p.m., and events begins at 6:30 p.m., with a kid zone and bites from D's Tacos, What's Cookin and CoolHaus. We'll be on hand before the show with the prize wheel, so come by and give it a spin!
Plena Libre has been moving audiences for more than 20 years, across 14 albums, including 2012 release Corazon. Combining traditional Puerto Rican styles, with bomba rhythms and the folk-derived plena style, the group has played with such acts as Poncho Sanchez and has received multiple Grammy and Latin Grammy nominations. Listen to "Bomba Pa'Ti" from Corazon below:
Levitt Pavillion is located in Macarthur Park at 2230 West 6th Street in Los Angeles.
Amoeba Music has curated the vintage album exhibit “Salute to ’80s Vinyl We Love,” featuring cover art from across the decade. It will be on display at the Ninth Annual Leimert Park Village Book Fair on Saturday, Aug. 1, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw.
Featured albums includes Whitney Houston’s self-titled debut album (1985), Tina Turner’s Break Every Rule (1986), the Do the Right Thing soundtrack (1988), Jungle Brothers’ Straight Out the Jungle (1988), N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton (1988), Soul II Soul’s Club Classics Vol. One (1989), Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation (1989) and more.
Bigstorm – Living In Exile (1989)
Bigstorm were an Australian band comprised of Bjarne Ohlin (Guitar, Vocals), Don Miller-Robinson (Lead Guitar, Bass, Vocals), Huey Benjamin (Drums, Vocals), and Stewart D’Arrietta (Lead Vocals, Keyboards). They released on album, Living in Exile, on WEA in 1989.
The members of Bigstorm came from varied backgrounds. Ohlin had appeared as an actor in episodes of Bluey and Case for the Defence in 1976 and ’78 and played guitar with Divinyls from 1980-1986. Miller-Robinson had also acted, appearing in the 1982 film, Monkey Grip, and releasing one single as a solo performer, “There Was A Girl,” b/w “Ghosts Of Love” the same year. Benjamin had moved from Canberra to Sydney to play drums with G Force and later the Tasmanian band, The Innocents. D’Arrietta had released a solo album, Side Effects, in 1985 and had also been a member of The New Republic.
Never one to back down or shy aware from controversy, outspoken veteran Bay Area rapper Paris continues to stay true to both his revolutionary rap style and his core political beliefs. The controversial artist, who famously got dropped by his record label over political content early on in his career and has since stayed true to his often unpopular convictions, announced that September 11, 2015 will be the release date of his newest politically charged hip-hop album, Pistol Politics.
9/11 and what it symbolizes has been a topic close to Paris's heart since the history-changing 2001 event, and one that he has openly questioned in his music, being among the few hip-hop artists to label 9/11 an inside job. On his 2003 album Sonic Jihad, which showed on its original cover art a plane crashing into the Pentagon, he featured the "truth" music track "What Would You Do" (see video below) that addressed his theories on 9/11 as well as the Illuminati's agenda, asking listeners "Would you stand up for truth? Or would you turn away too? And then what if you saw All of the things that's wrong?"
Another funk-fueled production, the album (his eighth album since his 1990 debut The Devil Made Me Do It) was first announced seven months ago with the release of the single and video for the album track "Night of the Long Knives" that addresses police brutality, racism, and other issues (video below). It is being described by the artist as both a condemnation of society's ills and a celebration of its virtues, emphasizing themes promoting unity, progression, and community upliftment, and a "musical statement of solidarity" with a wide range of guest collaborators that include Chuck D, George Clinton, E-40, WC, Kam, Tha Eastsidaz, Dead Prez, T-K.A.S.H., and The Conscious Daughters that is "a much needed united front against oppression and institutional racism in an age almost devoid of meaningful commentary in urban entertainment."
This summer marks Peaches Christ's 18th Annual summer screening of the best movie ever made, Paul Verhoven's 1995 master-sleaze Showgirls, and in honor of such an important anniversary, Peaches promises an XXX-tra special Goddess Spectacular pre-show celebration!
Peaches Christ wants you to dust off your glittery g-strings for a special one-night, interactive presentation of"NIGHT OF 1,000 SHOWGIRLS" on August 8th at the majestic Castro Theatre in San Francisco with your hostess Peaches Christ. The annual celebration of the seminal, camp classic will see Peaches and company kick off the night with the "Volcanic Goddess" pre-show with XXX-tra special additions celebrating this 18th Annual screening. This pre-show stars the now-legendary Alaska Thunderfuck 5000 (RuPaul's Drag Race) in the part of Nomi Malone.
For those who can’t fathom the idea of eating brown rice and vegetables, grab that LARGE, buttery popcorn because with every salty purchase, audience members will receive a personalized lap dance by Peaches’ legion of "live dude-girls" to get you in the mood and make you feel like you’re back at the Cheetah strip lounge.
Showgirls is an MGM release that tells the classic story of a young woman, Nomi Malone (Elizabeth Berkely), who dreams of being a dancer under the bright lights of the Las Vegas skyline. Catching the glittery eye of Stardust Casino’s showgirl, superstar Cristal Conners (Gina Gershon), Nomi sees an opportunity for her desire to become real. But there is only room for one star on the marquee as the battle of the showgirls begins.
There have been lots of vinyl reissues out lately, to mark anniversaries or to feature newly remastered audio on heavyweight vinyl. Here are the reissue highlights for July 24, 2015.
A classic of downtempo electronica, the success of Moon Safari essentially launched the French duo’s musical career. Their debut LP has just been remastered on 180 gram vinyl, following last month's reissue of their four other studio albums and the 40th anniversary of The Virgin Suicides soundtrack. Please note, this item is delayed.
Join us Friday, August 7th as we proudly support another free summer concert at Grand Performances in downtown LA! The show, which features Latin American singer/songwriters Gaby Moreno and Jorge Drexler, starts at 8pm and we'll be there with our famous prize wheel. Stop by, say hello, and give the wheel a spin for a chance to win cool prizes.
Grand Performances has become a staple for concert goers in Los Angeles. The award-winning series manages to curate top notch programming with artists not only from our city, but from around the globe.
Singing in both English and Spanish, Guatemalan singer/songwriter Gaby Moreno glides effortlessly between bossa nova, blues-rock and R&B. In 2013, Gabby took home a Latin Grammy for Best New Artist. This will definitely be a memorable night as Gabby is sure to convert any music fan within an earshot of her amazing voice.
Also performing is Oscar winner Jorge Drexler. A native of Uruguay, Drexler holds the distinction of being the first Uruguayan to win an Academy Award, which he took home for his composition, "Al Otro Lado del Rio" for the film The Motorcycle Diaries.
Yesterday Don Joyce of Negativland and KPFA's pioneering "Over The Edge" died at age 71. Today his longtime creative collaborator Mark Hosler posted the following touching and factually comprehensive tribute/obituary to the cut-and-paste /sound collage/culture jamming pioneer of the highly prolific Bay Area group:
"Words cannot do justice to the loss of Donald S. Joyce, Crosley Bendix, C. Eliot Friday, Omer Edge, Izzy Isn’t, Bud Choke, Leland Googleburger, Wang Tool and Dr. Oslo Norway, who all died yesterday in Oakland, CA of heart failure at age 71. Perhaps a loud, mournful squawk from Don's “Booper” feedback oscillator would better sum up the feelings of Negativland, his comrades and partners in art for 34 years, who are devastated. It was Don who coined the term “culture jamming”, and who devoted his life to the art of sound collage and his weekly live radio program, "Over the Edge," on KPFA FM in Berkeley, where it has continuously lived on the dial on Thursday nights at midnight since 1981, without interruption.
Don was a DJ at KPFA when a mutual friend, Ian Allen (who died this past January), introduced him to a group of Contra Costa County noise artists called Negativland, who entered the station one night armed with stacks of recordings and electronic gear, and immediately transformed Don’s “normal music show” into a free-form collage sound odyssey. It totally blew open his idea of what a radio program could be and what a DJ could “do.” And in Don Joyce (whose initials were conveniently also “DJ”), Negativland had found its “lead vocalist” without even realizing they were looking for one. It was Don who took the idea of reshaping previously recorded words – in a pre-sampling age – and ran with it to an extent and depth never before heard, and never equalled. “Recontextualization” became his weapon, with the 1/4” tape machine and razor blade his ammunition, and the radio “cart player" – an entirely forgotten piece of broadcast history using endless-loop tape cartridges, which he used until he death – his delivery system.
In keeping with the day's #tbt theme I flashback to late 1990's San Francisco -- an earlier era of the still-ongoing, unrelenting gentrification and tech invasion of the city by the Bay that has resulted in record high rents and driven out so many longtime SF residents (including lots of musicians and budget-conscious artists) who no longer can afford to live in a city that rivals Manhattan in cost of living. In comparison to today, the late '90s version of San Francisco was still relatively affordable, albeit still a far cry from the inexpensive city of previous decades that attracted so many artists to relocate to the Bay. In 2015 it may be tech giants like Twitter and Google who are seen as among the main culprits of gentrification in San Francisco. Back in the late '90s it was seen by most as the "dot com" invasion of areas South Of Market, particularly the Mission District.
"I don't wanna be a slave to no dot com…Ain't no parking around my residence. I don't like the candidates running for president. All these dot coms make me depressed…I'm more concerned about paying my rent," rapped veteran San Francisco underground hip-hop artist Crack Emcee on his song "Babylon.com." This earlier era SF tech revolt anthem (hear below) was the opening track that set the tone for the Amoeba Music Compilation Vol. II. This compilation of indie artists (many in San Francisco) was subtitled "Just Payin' The Rent" because at the time of its release - late '90s into early 2000's - San Francisco neighborhoods like The Mission were experiencing first hand the negative fallout of the dot com boom including driving up housing costs and hence out-pricing long time residents including artists with little money to begin with.
Head to the Vinyl Beat website to check out extensive LP label guides and wild cover galleries!
Mitty Collier came from the church, had a soul career for 10 years, and went back to the church to stay in 1972. She had the deepest, sexiest voice in soul music, but she still flew under the radar. Although she had many R&B hits, she was just too gritty for Top 40 radio. Mitty’s early career was with Chess Records in Chicago, but her best work was produced by Stax soul legend William Bell for the Peachtree label in Atlanta.
I’d Like To Change Places – (Entrance)
Mark Ronson is a DJ and producer whose work nods to classic soul and funk style sounds. Born in London but educated in New York City, Ronson began his career by DJing high profile gigs like Sean "P. Diddy" Combs' 29th birthday party. In 2003, he found success in the UK with the release of his debut album, Here Comes the Fuzz, which features guest appearances from the likes of Anthony Hamilton, Nikka Costa, Rivers Cuomo, Jack White, Mos Def, and Sean Paul. In 2007, he released a collection of cover songs called Version, which was followed by 2010's Record Collection.
In 2015, Ronson released Uptown Special. He dedicated the album to Amy Winehouse, whose Back to Black he had produced and for which he had received the 2008 Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical. Uptown Special features "Uptown Funk," a collaboration with Bruno Mars which marked Ronson's first entry into Billboard's Hot 100. Interestingly, the album features lyrics written by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon.
Ever get the feeling you've been cheated? A bunch of musicians in New York did, and not in the tradition of Johnny Rotten's statement and abrupt farewell of the Sex Pistols at Winterland. These musicians were taken in a carefully planned ruse that dates back a year but only got solved yesterday upon the arrest of Peter McMahon, the corrupt Brooklyn-based "concert promoter" who bilked 36 groups (mostly hard working up-and-coming rock bands such as Huxster from Boston) into forking over pay-to-play deposits of up to $240 to be on stage at the non-existent "North-East Music Festival" on Staten Island.
McMahon's fictional festival, which was supposed to take place last August, was no ordinary rock fest. It would be the "Woodstock of this generation" he convinced band members anxious to be a part of this supposedly prestigious four-day, music festival. As reported by the Staten Island Live website this week, who ran the Tennessee mug shot of the Brooklyn man whose current charges are for fraud and larceny, bands forked over anywhere between $50 and $240 as a "registration fee."
From when they first formed in the East Bay in the late 1980s, the funk/rap/hip-hop ensemble Digital Underground (DU) was as much a collective of creative-minded artists as simply a singular rap group. As such, these young P-Funk disciples tended to have an ever-rotating stable of members and associated artists. Digital Underground, whose consistent core members over their two-decade timeline were Shock G (aka Humpty Hump, aka M.C. Blowfish) and Money B, spawned several spinoff acts in their prime years (circa '88 - '93) that included most notably a dancer and roadie turned actor and rap superstar Tupac Shakur or 2Pac, Raw Fusion (DJ Fuze and Money B), Gold Money (who were also signed to Tommy Boy for a minute, but long enough to do the cool money-themed promo items pictured below), Saafir (f/k/a The Saucy Nomad), female emcee/singer Mystic (who was also down with Conscious Daughters), and Pee Wee. Pee Wee, who was part of the aforementioned Gold Money along with Bigg Money Odis, would go on to produce for 2Pac as well as being a member of another Bay Area collective, Too $hort's extended Dangerous Crew rap family.
by Rebecca Burgan
On the planet Arkanar, identical to Earth but stuck 800 years behind, grey castles stand entrenched in a beastly sea of mud and oomska. Arkanar possesses a medieval civilization, but there is no Renaissance, only fog, squalor, and decay. Scientists arrive to help this culture of humans who have not evolved from an existence of baseness, sickness, and eternal rot.
Be sure to have a settled stomach before embarking on Hard to Be a God, the final masterpiece by visionary Russian director Aleksei German. The Strugatsky brothers, Arkady and Boris (authors of the source novel for Tarkovsky’s Stalker), originally requested that a director of Soviet origin, preferably Aleksei German, direct a version of their Russian science fiction novel, Hard to Be a God. After the brothers’ disappointment with Peter Fleishmann’s 1989 film adaptation, German took on filming beginning in 2000, though he had been planning it for decades, and nearly finished it before his death in 2013. German’s wife and son put the finishing touches on the film allowing it to finally be unleashed onto the world.
This is the most grotesquely filthy film you have probably ever seen—a veritable Bosch or Brughel nightmare come to life, chock full of relentless dripping, fecal mud baths, suffocating fog, blood, mud, rain, putrefying swamps of bodily fluids, demonic horns, monstrous faces, and more mud. A sensation of near panic washes over you, yet you can’t look away, not for the three long hours of brutal submersion.
Our next Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood is Saturday, July 25 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Score some huge deals on music, movies, books and much more just outside the store. Plus, our pals from Hubert's will be here passing out free lemonade to our thirsty customers.
We'll have huge bargains on the following:
- Discounted LPs
- $1 clearance vinyl
- Buy-one-get-one-free clearance CDs
- 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
- 45 grab bags
- Books and comics at three for $1
- Deals on classical music
Come by and get some great deals on vinyl, movies and more!
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.
BILLY SATELLITE -- BILLY SATELLITE (1984)
Billy Satellite formed in Oakland in 1983. The members were Danny Chauncey (lead guitar, keyboards and vocals), Ira Walker (bass and vocals), Monty Byrom (lead vocals, guitar, and keyboards), and Tom Falletti (drums). Of the members, Chauncey had the most recording experience, having previously performed in Mistress, a band which had released two albums and a single, “Mistrusted Love” in 1979.
In 1984 Billy Satellite released their only record, Billy Satellite. It was mixed and engineered by Greg Edward and Don Gehman at Rumbo Recorders and Gehman also produced. It’s pretty typical hard rock of the era, equally at home in county fairs and roller rinks. "Standing With the Kings" would've been not at all out of place during a montage showing someone training, overcoming obstacles, and ultimately triumphing in an '80s sports drama.
It was being billed as the First Annual Bay Area Reggae Festival and was to take place over this weekend at the cavernous Craneway Pavilion in Richmond. Scheduled performers were to include big names of the genre such as Junior Reid, Gyptian, Marcia Griffiths, Freddie McGregor, Sister Carol, Barrington Levy, and Lady Saw. Tickets for the ambitious East Bay three-day event (July 17-19) were $200 or $75 per day, which, most agreed, was pricey but worth it to see some of the reggae legends booked. However, in the final lead-up days to the reggae festival, rumors had been circulating that advance ticket sales were not good. As with any first-time festival event of this scale, those financially invested in it were getting a little anxious in the days leading up to the festival and those fears were well founded it would turn out.
This Amoeblog, which includes music videos by ten of the numerous talented acts that will perform at this weekend's Art Of Rap Festival, is geared to act as a primer for the Ice-T-curated, two-day, two-location (SoCal and NorCal) event that includes some of the best MC names in the history of hip-hop, such as Rakim, Melle Mel, Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, and the Cold Crush Brothers featuring Grandmaster Caz. Taking place today (Saturday, July 18th) in SoCal at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre and then tomorrow up at the Shoreline Amphiteather in Mountain View, the ambitious project is an outgrowth of the documentary film Something From Nothing: The Art Of Rap from a few years ago. The documentary features many of the same acts in the film, which is now available from Amoeba on DVD as well as the accompanying soundtrack on CD and LP that features lots of the freestyle and live versions of songs featured throughout the documentary).
Tairrie B, who returns to rap following a two-decade detour into rock with a new rap album, has been called a pioneer for paving the way for the current generation white female rappers like Iggy Azalea, who was born the year that Tairrie B burst onto the national rap scene. That was 1990 when she was signed by Eazy-E who released her debut solo album The Power Of A Woman on his Ruthless Records imprint Comptown Records, which had major distribution through MCA. Her early 90's debut album's contributors included such heavy hitters as Eazy-E (of course), Schoolly D, Everlast, The D.O.C., and Dr. Dre, each of whom had small cameos. Originally, Eazy suggested a last track (traditionally a posse cut) called "I Ain't Yo Bitch" and having Ice Cube or The D.O.C. pen with Dre producing. How that would have gone down was that the guys in N.W.A would each have a verse calling the female artist a "bitch" with the song's target shooting back a closing retort. Reportedly, Tairrie B did not approve the song concept or the idea of Dr. Dre having the final word in the studio. That led to behind the scenes conflicts that, in turn, led to her writing her own last song that she titled "Ruthless Bitch." In the updated, self-empowering track, she took the word "bitch" and flipped the script by defining it as "B.I.T.C.H" meaning "Being In Total Control of Herself." Her goal was to replace the negative stigma associated with the word and turn the tables. Not surprisingly, not all were happy with her changes. One unhappy party was Dr. Dre, who she would run into at an after party for the Grammy's at which he reportedly physically assaulted her. She would go on to re-record the track changing the verse about Dre to include the line: "World class you got no class, So when they said let you produce me, I said I'll pass. As for the Grammy's, I'll put that on the shelf...It takes a punk motherfucker to play himself, Your best shot was weak, I didn't need stitches...Get this straight, I ain't one of your bitches! You cartoon gangsta, I'm calling your bluff...Hitting a woman, that makes you real tough!"
Nina Gordon and Louise Post of reunited alt-rockers Veruca Salt walked onstage at Amoeba Hollywood July 13 with smiles miles wide. The band had just released its first album with the original lineup in 18 years, the well-received Ghost Notes, after reconciling two years ago following a bitter falling out in the ’90s. Given their ability to overcome such a storied history and long hiatus, the positivity flowing from the two singer/guitarists was palpable.
Gordon and Post held up their “set plates” (“There was no paper backstage, but there were plates,” Gordon explained) and began with the first song on Ghost Notes, “The Gospel According to Saint Me.” They looked at each other and smiled while harmonizing to the song’s autobiographical lyrics about the band’s breakup and reunion. Gordon’s lyrics about how “it’s gonna get loud, it’s gonna get heavy” may have felt ironic for an acoustic set, but they rang out to an appreciative audience of devotees who may have picked up on a small teaser to the American Thighs song “Victrola.”
The singers’ chemistry and tension was as fascinating to watch as their performances. At one point, Post asked for less Gordon in her monitor. “I love you, but it’s just too much,” she said, but later admitted, “I miss you,” as though summing up their history.
Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker shifts gears a bit for his third album, drawing as much from ’80s soul and disco as he has from prog-rock and psychedelia. Though such a change could threaten to derail a good thing, Parker is the consummate perfectionist, and Currents’ various strands are braided together without a hair out of place. Opener “Let It Happen” builds from a proggish uphill chug into a psychedelic freakout and finally hits its stride with a silky disco beat. “Eventually” relies on rock dynamics but uses fat synthesizers to achieve its booming changes. And a tune like crystalline psych-funk jam “The Less I Know the Better” seems to marry all of Parker’s influences into a perfect amalgam, calling to mind everything from Michael Jackson to My Bloody Valentine. Through it all, Parker is the same chill knob-twiddler he’s always been, but he’s come out of his shell a bit more—it takes confidence to command a song like “’Cause I’m a Man,” which gloriously oozes ’70s cheese, akin to Gary Wright’s “Dream Weaver” or 10CC’s “I’m Not in Love.” From the get-go, Parker himself seems to be reflecting on the change—“Something’s trying to get out/And it’s never been closer,” he sings on “Let It Happen.” It’s confirmed by the time we get to “Yes I’m Changing,” ostensibly a breakup ballad but it seems more pointedly about an introvert accepting accidental stardom (“Curse indulgence and despise the fame/There’s a world out there and it's calling my name”). This lyrical theme, the sense that Parker is coming into his own as not only a songwriter and performer but human being, gives Currents a unity that even the superb Lonerism didn’t have. In every way, Currents is a complete triumph, both as a fascinating headphones album for production junkies and as a set of immaculate psych-pop songs that feels endlessly giving.
Ever wondered what a crowd surfing feline looks like? Thanks to the newly released Sapphic Musk "Kittenz" music video you can see it happen!
The self proclaimed "homo-centric Euro-Nordic hard rock" band Sapphic Musk created something that is sure to set the blogosphere ablaze. "Kittenz," the latest single in the band's arsenal, is now available digitally via Amoeba.com. "Kittenz," produced by Bob Marlette (Rob Zombie, Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper), boasts heavy guitar riffs over big tight drums. It's the stuff that turns mosh pits into raging tornadoes! Tastefully produced and perfectly executed, the single definitely stands on its own. Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, the ladies of Sapphic Musk drop a gem of a video to accompany their feline fantasy.
Shot at the famed DIY punk venue The Smell, the video opens with the meow of a cute and cuddly kitten just before Sapphic Musk unleashes a sonic assault of rock goodness. Complete with on screen explosions and cut-aways of little kittens, the video has subtle nods to cheesy old school editing that makes for a super entertaining watch. But don't let the cute kittens fool you. Vocalist Sara T. Russell, dressed in a horned headpiece sings, "claws like demon knives, they don't die they've got nine lives..." A simple reminder that even the cutest of kittens can be the most demonic. Guitarist Mia Ferraro and bassist Christy Greenwood lay down some serious headbanging while drummer Tammy Germani channels her inner Black Sabbath a la Bill Ward as Sapphic Musk rocks out to a packed house of die hard fans. The end result is an awesome song with a tongue-in-cheek video that is well worth the watch... over and over again.
Jessie Jones – “I Ran So Far”
No, it’s not a Flock of Seagulls cover. “I Ran So Far” is the third song we’ve heard from Jessie Jones’ upcoming self-titled Burger debut. “I keep running, but I don’t know why,” she sings over a countrified gallop, her exacting diction and vocal tics helping to capture the feeling of unsettled wanderlust. Pearl Charles comes out July 28. Hear it via Spin.
Peacers – “Laze It” video
S.F.’s Mike Donovan of great psych-rockers Sic Alps has a new band called Peacers, whose self-titled debut album comes out tomorrow on Drag City. Give the video for “Laze It” about half a minute before the Stones riffs and psychedelic surf imagery gets going.
Neil Young is back in the news this week after announcing on his Facebook page that he will pull all of his music off of streaming sites, writing that "streaming has ended for me" due to the inferior sound quality that he labels "the worst quality in the history of broadcasting or any other form of distribution." Although Young did not name specific outlets such as Spotify or iTunes, it was implied that those were among those he was talking about, for the time being at least. "When the quality is back, I'll give it another look," he wrote, stressing "I don't feel right allowing this to be sold to my fans. It's bad for my music" and derives from deals "made without my consent."
Not specified as yet is if Young is including in his definition of "streaming" the online stream versions of terrestrial radio stations such as say KFOG in the Bay Area or KLOS in SoCal. If so, that might mean no radio play for Neil Young in the US as well as on the BBC. And what about artists signed to his Vapor label such as Main Attrakionz who recently played an Amoeba in-store. Will their music also be pulled too since they're also subject to the "worst quality" of music ever. And is YouTube included as a "streaming" outlet for his and his artists' music?
Noise-rock powerhouse Lightning Bolt was founded by Rhode Island School of Design students Brian Chippendale and Brian Gibson in 1995. When the band first started, their shows were largely improvisational, until Load Records approached them with the idea of doing an album. In 1999, their self-titled debut appeared. In 2001, Load released Ride the Skies, the duo's second album. Two years later, the band's most accessible release, Wonderful Rainbow, came out. While touring intermittently, the band released Hypermagic Mountain (2005), Earthly Delights (2009), and Oblivion Hunter (2012). Their most recent release is 2015's Fantasy Empire, their first full-length for Thrill Jockey.
The dynamic duo dig deep and find some gems on our recent episode of What's In My Bag? The guys get started with Mystic Soundz From India, Lost Field Recordings (Lost In Space Records). Compiled from obscure and rare recordings from 1968-1979, this makes a great source for sampling or attempting to hypnotize yourself. Good stuff! Next, they pick up an awesome book of works by Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Produced by the innnovative German publisher, TASCHEN, this is a beautifully curated book that deserves to be on every art fan's coffee table. The guys also grab a copy of the highly acclaimed album, You're Dead!, by LA's beloved beat maker Flying Lotus. From instructional records to experimental classical to world music, Lighning Bolt search far and wide and find influence everywhere. Watch the full episode below to see all their picks.
Fans of the Grateful Dead feeling bummed about not getting to attend the final Dead series of concerts recently, might consider the alternative of going to check out George Clinton's Parliament Funkadelic who are currently on a summer tour that includes some free shows in New York City this week. As anyone like myself who has ever witnessed concerts by both Jerry Garcia's beloved band and by the Godfather of Funk's various funk incarnations (Parliament / Funkadelic / P-Funk All Stars) will attest, both share an approach to concerts that tend towards long extended jams that are related to "the One." So if you were among those Deadheads disappointed to not get to attend either the two anniversary Dead shows last month in Santa Clara, CA or this month's sold-out (and expensive) show series at Chicago's Soldier Field, where the four remaining members of the Grateful Dead - Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann - performed together reportedly for the last time, then I say honor Jerry and the Dead by going to see George and Parliament Funkadelic.
In the video, drummer Georgia Hubley walks around Silver Lake casually picking up multicolored trinkets while people literally explode around her and giant hearts rain down like meteorites. Bandmates Ira Kaplan and James McNew also appear, though McNew loses most of his body in the mayhem. It’s a perfect marrying of twee and doomsday sensibilities.
Watch the video below:
Watch the band’s episode of “What’s In My Bag?” below:
|Image: Maria Louceiro|
"I've Been Waiting for Her" has all the elements we've come to love over the past couple of DeMarco releases—shiney, sticky guitars playing quick and summery riffs and wavering in and out of tune over DeMarco's slacker-romantic drawl, coming together seemingly effortlessly yet perfectly executed. It's the second song we've heard from the release after "The Way You'd Love Her."
Stream the song below. Another One is available for preorder on LP and CD now. DeMarco will play at S.F.'s Outside Lands festival Aug. 8 and L.A.'s FYF Fest Aug. 23. Two-day tickets to FYF Fest are still available at Amoeba Hollywood while supplies last.
Tickets are now for sale for Beserktown II, taking place at the Observatory in Santa Ana Aug. 14-16. Single-day passes are $55 and a three-day pass is $125, and you can pick them up now at Amoeba Hollywood while supplies last with only a $2 service fee.
The punk-heavy show features such bands as Thee Oh Sees, Royal Trux, Total Control, Destruction Unit, Fucked Up, Lust for Youth, Sheer Mag, Black Bananas, White Lung and more. It's being put on by our friends at KXLU.
Check out our episode of "What's In My Bag?" with Black Bananas below, featuring Jennifer Herrema, also of Royal Trux, as well as an episode with Damian "Pink Eyes" Abraham of Fucked Up:
He’s also revealed a new song, “The Knower,” a minimalist pop song with intriguing production. Propulsion is mostly provided by electronics that sound like ’80s toys on the fritz, but these are balanced by a splashy drum beat and horns that show up halfway through. Meanwhile, Powers’ voice has only gotten higher and more ethereal, painting him as the male heir to Kate Bush’s odd empire.
We’ve been dying to hear the new Tame Impala album, Currents, since hearing about its release in the Spring. The album is coming out this week, hitting stores Friday, July 17, and you can listen to the album now via NPR.
Our first impressions are very strong. It’s a synth-heavy affair compared with the band’s previous two albums, Lonerism and Innerspeaker, but still just as psychedelic, as songs like opener “Let It Happen,” which takes its time to move from a pensive, proggish uphill chug to a silky disco beat. While we’ve enjoyed singles “Eventually” and “’Cause I’m a Man,” the album’s other songs are proving just as strong, especially synth-soul ballad “Yes I’m Changing” and crystalline psych-funk jam “The Less I Know the Better.”
Still of Lulú Jam!'s video for "Amor de verano"
Directed by Roberto Doveris, filmed by Valentina Sáez for Niña Niño Producciones
After a seven year recording hiatus, Chilean electro-pop group Lulú Jam! have a new album out called Temporada Alta. The path of my discovery of Lulú Jam! is, I think, kind of amusing in that reveals something about the changing landscape at the intersection of technology and recording. I moved to Los Angeles in 1999 and one of the first bands I heard on the now-defunct Spanish indie station that I liked was “Tren al Sur” by the by-then-disbanded Chilean group, Los Prisioneros. More than any other band, Los Prisoneros opened me up to South American pop — not sweaty, clenched fist, sing along with the jukebox, pirate-shirted “Rock en Español,” but pop.
A Venezuelan contacted me via LiveJournal and sent me a jpeg (this was before YouTube) of a video by Argentine band Miranda! and I caught a video for another of their songs, "Romix," on LATV. When Myspace launched, it's only obvious improvement over Friendster was that there bands could have profiles and Miranda!’s “Myspace friends” included several bands, the most interesting of whom were Lulú Jam!, a Chilean band with which they’d more than once shared a stage.
The title of Four Tet's new album refers to its two extended tracks, split into a "Morning" and "Evening" side. The release provides dueling meditations that are indeed best listened to at the time period they're ascribed. "Morning" moves with purpose on a skittering beat, but its sampled Indian singer and undulating synth tones feel like they're gently nudging you awake. As such, the 20-minute track evolves and begins piling on more geometric synth runs and string drones about halfway through, seeming to take flight as the beat slowly dials down to just a bass pulse and then nothing at all. "Evening" by comparison, begins more amorphously, unmoored without a beat, its vocal more divided, but it is no less affecting as its tones blink in and out of focus and its arrangement becomes more apparent. Given the suggestive nature of the song title, "Evening's" high-end notes call to mind the sight of stars and sound of nocturnal birds and insects, while its whooshing cymbal sound soothes. Like its predecessor, the track evolves and becomes more saturated with sound about halfway through before becoming more minimalist, its swaying synths evoking a dream state, though a heavy, thudding beat that emerges free of tones suggests nighttime hedonism or a mind-clearing erasure that comes with sleep. As a kind of concept album about how we begin and end our days, Morning/Evening is totally successful. It could be ideal for winding up or down, accompanied by yoga, meditation or quiet listening, but it also stands on its own as an intriguing pair of sound pieces that can be explored at leisure.
Detroit-born/Brooklyn-based DJ Mr. Fine Wine epitomizes that term crate digger. The longtime radio and club DJ - renowned for his vast seven inch record collection of lost soul, funk, gospel, RnB, and doo-wop 45's from the fifties, sixties, and seventies - owns a most unique and enviable record collection. This unparalleled American music record collection of over 15,000 45 records, which has resulted in being invited to curate numerous retro soul label compilations, did not appear overnight for Mr Fine Wine. Rather the DJ has invested near all his spare cash over the past two and a half decades, plus endless hours of tireless crate digging at record stores big and small (and yard sales) all over the country, including Amoeba Berkeley when he visited California a few years back. In fact, even very recently when on his honeymoon to Tampa and St. Petersburg, he couldn't resist doing a lil bit of record shopping. Luckily, his new wife Rebecca is a fellow retro soul music DJ and avid record collector who DJs under the name One Mint Julep. Hence she, unlike most new brides, was more than understanding.
Listening to OOFJ feels like watching a film noir from the future. Melodramatic strings, bubbling electronic beats and Katherine Mills-Rymer’s desperately breathy vocals come together for a sound that wouldn’t feel out of place in a new David Lynch or Roman Polanski film. That’s not accidental—while you could draw comparisons to bands like Portishead and Goldfrapp, the band’s composer, Jenno Bjornkjaer, has worked on film scores like Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia, during which he met his musical and romantic partner in Mills-Rymer. The debut album from OOFJ (which stands for “orchestra of Jenno”) pulls heavily from filmic inspiration but manages to put that into four-minute electro-pop songs that are heady and addictively catchy in equal doses.
I took a minute to speak with the duo before their performances at Amoeba Hollywood July 23 at 6 p.m. and their slot playing Amoeba Music’s curated Red Bull Sound Select show July 30 at the Echoplex with Baths and Wrestlers (click here to RSVP).
The 35th annual San Francisco Jewish Film Festival returns to the Bay Area July 23rd - August 9th with a lineup that includes 70 films from 16 countries with ten Big Night programs featuring music, history, food, art, and love. Amoeba is thrilled to sponsor screenings of four amazing documentaries:
As I AM: The Life and Times of DJ AM
Forget whatever you’ve heard about the life and death of Philadelphia-born DJ AM (born Adam Goldstein), the superstar club deejay who attained rock star status and survived a fiery plane crash only to die a short time later of a drug overdose at the age of 36. Director Kevin Kerslake’s haunting and heartbreaking portrait intimately conveys the brief life of an obsessive sonic genius for whom music, fame and love were tragically not enough.
Thursday, July 30, 6:25pm @ Castro Theatre
Friday, July 31, 8:55pm @ California Theater (Berkeley)
Plus, check out Pump Up the JAMs: A Tribute to DJ AM with Mix Master Mike, a special afterparty at Public Works in SF on Thursday, July 30 at 9:00pm. Tix HERE!
From the beginning, Queens born Danny Fields (Daniel Feinberg) hardly lived life on the straight and narrow. To keep his family’s energy up, his doctor father kept a bowl of amphetamine pills on the dining room table. Young Fields did manage to get into Harvard law school but soon dropped out to spend all his days and nights with the likes of Nico, Edie Sedgwick, and Andy Warhol in the 1960’s Factory scene. Fields became the legendary “company freak” at the innovative Elektra record label where he earned the wrath of a kidnapped Jim Morrison, discovered and signed underground heroes the MC5 and Iggy Pop in a single weekend, and tried to manage the unmanageable Ramones. Drawing on rare footage and audio recordings (including an incredible cassette snippet of a delirious Lou Reed listening to the Ramones for the first time), this fascinating chronicle is capped by the wry and wistful reminiscence of Fields, the little-known Jewish godfather of punk rock.
Mute Records just wrapped their recent run of Nick Cave reissues, including the first-ever North American release of eleven classic albums on 180 gram heavyweight vinyl, dating back to 1984’s From Her To Eternity. Remastered by founding member of the Bad Seeds Mick Harvey, the rereleases started coming in December 2014 and continued on into spring 2015.
When you’ve spent years working in record stores, it’s almost impossible to answer the perennial question, “So, what’s your favorite band?” For a while I had about five bands I would answer this question with, then slowly (probably after finally realizing most people asking this had no idea who I was talking about) I refined my answer to, “I guess Nick Cave.” I “guess” this is because his songwriting is literate, dark, sometimes slyly humorous, and always fiery and unabashed. I “guess” it’s because his aesthetic concerns include haunted Southern Gothic imagery and brutal Revisionist Western stories—basically it’s like someone started writing music, films and books tailored entirely towards my interests. (According to the internet, he also shares my less intense beliefs in the importance of cat art and telling people to “just Google it.”) So in the mid ‘90s when the song “Red Right Hand” gradually lurked its way into my teenage consciousness through repeated exposure via The X-Files movie soundtrack and the approximately two dozen crappy teen horror flicks it was used in (ok, a quick internet search reveals that it was pretty much only Scream), my curiosity was piqued.
L.A. experimental singer/songwriter Julia Holter has announced a new album called Have You in My Wilderness, due Sept. 25 on Domino. It's the follow-up to 2013's excellent Loud City Song. The first track is called "Feel You," debuting a sound that's a bit warmer and more open for Holter, though there's still plenty going on beneath the surface—a layering of sunlit strings and harpsichord make the bed for a syncopated beat and Holter's clipped observations and spoken-word bits to skip through. It's just as expressive and sweet as that little dog's face in the video for the song, directed by Jose Wolff, that premiered today on Pitchfork.
Wand – “Stolen Footsteps”
One of our favorite garage-rock bands, Wand, already put out an excellent album this year called Golem, but they’re back at it again with a new album called 1000 Days, which will be released Sept. 25 and will be their Drag City debut. From the sound of “Stolen Footsteps,” the L.A./S.F. band has made some major overhauls to their sound, eschewing the huge distortion of previous albums in favor of floral analog synth runs and gently psychedelic melodies, coming off like The Kinks jamming with Berlin-era Bowie.
Since they formed back in the 1990s, the pioneering San Francisco turntable jazz three-piece Livehuman (comprised of DJ Quest, bassist Andrew Kushin, and percussionist Albert Mathias) have been performing all over and at all kinds of venues from underground hip-hop clubs to outdoor jazz festivals. At those concerts the critically acclaimed modern jazz ensemble, who are heard everyday as theme music on San Francisco NPR outlet KALW, would do their part by performing at their very best. However how that would translate into the final mix heard by the concert goers in these venue was beyond their control since the mix was dependent on the club's sound-person. With fingers crossed, the musicians would hope that the sound person would know how to properly mix together the unique trio's individual sounds. Unfortunately, it rarely did happened that a sound man would get the Livehuman mix and blend of their three instruments just right.
Until very recently that is, thanks to new electronic gear and a whole new approach in concert for the turntable-based jazz trio. The solution to getting just the right mix desired was simple enough: they simply had to channel everything through DJ Quest's mixer. In comparison to the sound of old, the new way is a clean, clear, pitch-perfectly balanced, final mix of both Andrew's bass and Albert's various percussion sounds.
Mr. Scruff, the musical project of Mancunian DJ/producer Andy Carthy, burst onto the scene in the mid-'90s with the release of several 12" singles for Pleasure Music. His biggest hit-to-date came via the release of his 1999 debut full-length, Keep It Unreal, which features the single "Get a Move On," an upbeat swing-styled number based around "Bird's Lament (In Memory of Charlie Parker)" by Moondog and featuring a sample from Shifty Henry's "Hyping Woman Blues." His official followup, Trouser Jazz, appeared in 2002. Two years later Scruff released his first ever DJ mix album, Keep It Solid Steel Volume 1. He has released albums steadily over the past decade, with 2014's Friendly Bacteria showcasing the constant evolution of his sound. Scruff is also known for his marathon DJ sessions, hand-drawn live visuals and album art, and his tea company, Make Us a Brew.
Mr. Scruff recently visited Amoeba Hollywood rocking a really dope J Dilla (RIP) t-shirt, a small indication that he goes deep in the crates when digging for vinyl. He definitely found some classic gems in this episode of What's In My Bag?. Scruff first finds the early '80s modern soul album One Way Love Affair by Sadane. He often collects these records and hands them out as gifts to friends. A longtime fan of the Celluloid label, Scruff picks their newly released compilation, Haiti Goes Latin, which is a great album for any lover of World/Latin music. Watch the full episode below to see all his picks:
23 hip-hop summers ago back in mid-1992 the song heard everywhere across the nation (including and especially in their native Bay Area where KMEL had it on constant replay) was "Back To The Hotel" by Vallejo rap group N2DEEP. The song, which these days is heard in regular rotation on hip-hop oldies or "throwback" stations like the Bay Area's Q102, became a global hit for the Bay Area group signed to prestigious New York hip-hop label Profile Records. The album of the same name was produced by founding member Johnny Z along with the two official group members/rappers James "Jay Tee" Trujillo and Timothy "TL" Lyon. In fact the "Back To The Hotel" single (one of three from the successful album along with "Toss Up" and "The Weekend") was such a big hit for the prolific North Bay crew, that it overshadowed all their other work and hence would garner them in later years that unfortunate tag of "one-hit-wonder" status by such outlets as Complex magazine and BuzzFeed. That is too bad since N2DEEP recorded so much more equally great music (before and after) as the beloved "Back To The Hotel" song, which the average pundit mistakenly believed was their debut single. That song wasn't meant to be a single, or even initially titled "Back To The Hotel" but rather "Telly" when it was released a year earlier in 1991 on Johnny Z's Vallejo-based indie label Rated Z Recordz. Hence for this Hip-Hop History Tuesdays Amoeblog, I caught up with mastermind behind the song, Johnny "Z" Zunino, to go back in time to the early 1990's and jog his memory about N2DEEP, their recordings before their big hit single, and to find out why they changed the title and their original group name ("3DEEP"). That conversation appears immediately below the video for the 1992 Profile single.
Electronic pop acts Baths, Wrestlers and OOFJ will play the show, with L.A.-based Australian band Wunder Wunder hosting. The show is 18-and-over and is $3 with an RSVP and $12 without, though an RSVP doesn't guarantee you entrance, so plan to arrive early.
Baths is the project by SoCal native Will Wiesenfeld, who plays a mellowed-out blend of electronica and dream-pop with indie-rock and hip-hop influences poking through. He has released three albums under the Baths name, the most recent of which was 2013's critically acclaimed Obsidian. In 2014, he released the Ocean Death EP, featuring the title track as heard below:
The free, all-ages show takes place at 8 p.m. at California Plaza in Downtown Los Angeles. Stop by our booth to spin our Prize Wheel.
Funk-jam band Dumpstaphunk incorporates jazz, soul, blues and rock 'n' roll into their eclectic sound. They're also rock royalty, with Ivan Neville on vocals and his cousin, Ian Neville, on guitar — Ivan is the son of R&B singer Aaron Neville, and Ian is the son of Art Neville, who was in The Neville Brothers with Aaron. Together with bass players Nick Daniels and Tony Hall and drummer Nikki Glaspie, the younger Nevilles have evolved from what was once Ivan's side project to being called "the best funk band from New Orleans right now" by The New York Times.
Hear a taste of the band's music with the tune "Dancin' to the Truth" from the album Dirty Word below:
Ireland's economy may not be in quite as dire a state as that of some of its fellow European nations such as Spain or Greece where current unemployment rates are 22% and 25% respectively. Ireland's unemployment rate is still high at 10%. But with constant economic cutbacks, diminishing public programs, and increasing living costs including the controversial proposed water charges that drew huge protests in the nation's capital, Ireland is far removed from its bygone economic boom years. Long gone are those lush years of its economic growth when everyday conversations focused on purchasing second and third homes. Nowadays austerity is the word you're more likely to hear as well as complaints about the Irish government and politicians in general who, along with bankers that got rich off the short-lived boom years, are disliked by so many in the Emerald Isle.
Tapping into and perfectly articulating that national feeling of contempt for the elite powers (government and corporations) is Irish rapper Tommy KD whose latest single "Satan's Government" (video below that was shot in part during the aforementioned water-charge protests) vents the feelings felt that so many in Ireland and across Europe. The powerful single - his follow-up to "Bag Of Gear" (also produced by Hazo) previously featured on the Amoeblog contains the chant-along refrain "The Goverment I hate them. They belong to Satan. Everything the people own; they've gone out and taken. And we are all forsaken at the hands of these greedy statesmen." Mincing no words he also raps "Fuck them in The Dail [Irish government] and "Fuck the Mayor and the President." Elsewhere he offers that, "No political party will bring about change until we change the system" and how, "The government rebuke every promise they make and doctor the truth…and they say fuck the working class, no hopers……..The good old days of the Celtic Tiger are over!"
Every Sunday in July our stores are having a different 20% off sale.
On Sunday, July 12, take 20% off shirts and posters. July 19 it's 20% off books, comics, mugs and toys; and on July 26, enjoy 20% off all used DVD and Blu-ray.
If you haven't been to Amoeba in a while, it's a great excuse to come out and pick up fresh merch, get some new movies, or peruse our new toy sections in LA and SF. See some of the products we have for sale in the photos below.
We hope to see you every Sunday this month!
THE MERRY-GO-ROUND -- YOU'RE A VERY LOVELY WOMAN • LIVE (1967)
This week's One Album Wonder is the 1960s baroque pop band The Merry-Go-Round, who released their only album in October 1967. Although several members played in the band, few would challenge the claim that the ringleader of the band was a prodigious then-teenager named Emitt Rhodes.
The Merry-Go-Round, taken from a promo photo
Emitt Lynn Rhodes was born 25 February 1950 in Decatur, Illinois. In 1955 the Rhodes family moved to Hawthorne, California, drawn by a job in the aerospace industry. When he was fourteen, Rhodes played drums in a high school dance band, The Emerals, with Bill Leeder, Dennis Troll, and three brothers from Montreal: Don, Dave, and John Beaudine, The Emerals split but Rhodes soon rejoined the brothers Beaudine alongside Chuck McLung, Mike Conley, and Don Grady (Don Agrati) in the decidedly Anglophiliac band, The Palace Guard.
Most everything it seems about Main Attrakionz, who played an extremely well-received in-store at Amoeba Berkeley this past Tuesday (June 30), is atypical of the image one might have about Oakland rap and what it should sound/look like. For starters the young, longtime North Oakland rap duo comprised of Mondre M.A.N. (Damondre Grice) and Squadda B (Charles Glover) have just released their new album, 808s & Dark Grapes III, on Vapor Records, which is the label owned by none other than Neil Young and whose releases to date feature such distinctly non-rap acts as Jonathan Richman and Pegi Young (Neil Young, an Oakland rap fan! Who would've thunk?). Secondly the Pleasanton-based production duo of Friendzone (James Laurence and Dylan Reznick), who produced the entire new album and joined them onstage at Amoeba this week, may not look like they would have been paired with these two Oakland rappers, but the collaboration totally works! And thirdly I have never before witnessed an Oakland rap show where the act's former middle school mentor acts as their hype-person and gets on the mic to give a rousing introduction. But such was the case with new Vapor Records' act Main Attrakionz who were introduced by Marian Meadows who has known the pair for half of their lives, ever since she mentored them back when they first started seriously rapping at age twelve at North Oakland's Carter Middle School. Her glowing in-depth and informative intro that dated back to day one (literally) of when they started - before they started entering "the middle school talent show circuit" - included her stressing how they put in endless hours of practicing, referencing that old saying about hours of practice needed to master an art, noting that, "You know how they say when you've passed ten thousand hours? Well when you start when you're 12 years old, you've passed that 10,000 hours but are in the hundreds of thousands of hours!" Indeed, as noted in the Amoeblog interview conducted with Main Attrakionz before Tuesday's in-store, the duo have been incredibly prolific. While this new album may only be their second official album they've already released more like 15 albums worth of material. For Tuesday's Amoeba Berkeley concert, that ran about half an hour and got the loudly appreciative in-store crowd hyped, they focused on new album material. 808s & Dark Grapes III is available from Amoeba in CD format with LP vinyl version to follow in the near future. See the full Amoeblog profile/interview on Main Attrakionz here.
This month, Amoeba is proud to co-sponsor Summer on Seventh, a rooftop concert in downtown LA with art, food trucks and drinks benefiting Inner-City Arts. On Saturday, July 25, Cut Chemist, The Internet, Shura, and dublab will rock the corner of 7th and Kohler, where guests will be able to enjoy art installations from Tanya Aguiniga, Animal Charm, and SBTRKTOSCOPE and sample food and beverages from Bon Puf, Clover Juice, Guerilla Tacos, Free Range, Jogasaki Sushi Burrito, Madcapra, Salt & Straw, Stumptown Coffee, and The Urban Oven. Silver Lake Wine will also be on hand to serve libations.
This summer celebration of creativity in all its forms takes place from 7pm-midnight and is 21+ only. All proceeds will benefit Inner-City Arts' free arts education programs for underserved youth in our community. Tickets are available online for $45.
Amoeba 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:
In 2000, bassist Troy Sanders, guitarists Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher, and drummer Brann Dailor founded Atlanta heavy metal band Mastodon. In 2001, they signed with Relapse Records, who released their Lifesblood EP. Their first full-length, Remission, followed a year later. Mastodon's third album, Blood Mountain, received a Grammy nod for the track "Colony of Birchmen." 2009 saw the release of their album Crack the Skye, as well as a tour with Metallica. The Hunter followed two years later, with their sixth studio album, Once More 'Round the Sun, hitting stores in June 2014.
Drummer Brann and guitarist Bill recently stopped by Amoeba Hollywood to dig up some records for another fine episode of What's In My Bag?. Brann first finds a very cool compilation called Choubi Choubi: Folk & Pop Sounds from Iraq. He mentions being a fan of Middle Eastern pop music, especially '90s Egyptian Top 40. Who would have guessed a metal drummer would be rocking out to that? Very cool. Bill follows with a re-issue of the Melvins' Ozma/Bullhead album, calling them "one of the greatest bands on earth." To bring it down a notch, Bill also picks up a copy of Drunken Hearted Man by legendary blues guitarist Robert Johnson. Brann heads in the opposite direction and finds a copy of Merci by French prog-rockers Magma. This is definitely an interesting pick for several reasons... All of Magma's songs are sung in a made up laguage and are conceptualized from a science fiction mythology created by the band's leader and drummer, Christian Vander. Wow, who needs psychedelics when you can just listen to a Magma record? Bill and Brann find it all, including some really cool jazz and classic rock. Watch the full episode below to see what else they find!
Amoeba Music is proud to join Massive Selector, fresco, and Keistar Productions in celebrating Soul Slam SF's 10th Anniversary at Mezzanine on Saturday, July 11th. If you've danced your booty off at Soul Slam in the past, then you know it’s more than just a party...It’s an experience! At Soul Slam, New York's DJ Spinna transforms the song books of Michael Jackson and Prince into a dream like journey – part history lesson and part love letter. Also spinning the masters that night are Proof (Massive Selector), Hakobo (fresco), and King Most (SF). Get your tickets NOW!
Now that the year is officially half over, we’re checking back over the albums that have been released thus far in 2015. Maybe all of this will change in six months, but for now, here are the albums I’ve been most excited about this year. We’d love to hear some more under-the-radar albums that came out this year that haven’t been as covered by the blogosphere, so please leave a comment and suggest some more picks.
The former Fleet Foxes drummer has put out the most emotionally manipulative album of 2015, and that’s a good thing. Songs like “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)” are all sweeping melodrama on the surface, horns and strings and Southwest jangle decorating Joshua Tillman’s sonorous voice, but his words destroy the superficial veneer the handsome troubadour puts out on first blush, sneaking snarky lines into a love song to his new wife (“I wanna take you in the kitchen/Lift up your wedding dress someone was probably murdered in”). Songs like “The Night Josh Tillman Came to Our Apt.” and “Nothing Good Ever Happens at the Goddamn Thirsty Crow” dismiss young would-be groupies with borderline arrogance (the oft-quoted “She says, like literally, music is the air she breathes/And the malaprops make me want to fucking scream”), Tillman’s use of detail flip your impression of him from douche to annoyingly charming dude who’s just telling it like it is. And as the album progresses, Tillman’s observations turn more self-effacing, and his pathos makes for some brutally candid moments—“Bored in the U.S.A.’s” white people problems are played for literal laughs, and the self-loathing present beneath the beard transcends its trappings and becomes entirely relatable. It’s also a great love album because it’s romantic but doesn’t sugarcoat shit, starting semi-sarcastically using the pet name “honeybear” and later featuring the line “Maybe love is just an economy based on resource scarcity/What I fail to see is what that’s gotta do with you and me.” There have easily been more sentimental singer/songwriter releases in 2015, but Tillman’s cynicism feels like the most honest thing I’ve heard this year.
If you needed any convincing that Beach House is one of the best bands on the planet, their new song "Sparks" is a strong argument. Ever since their first of two masterpieces was released, 2010's Teen Dream, every new song and album by the Baltimore duo feels like an event. After announcing weeks ago that Depression Cherry, their fifth album and first since 2012's Bloom, would be released Aug. 28 on Sub Pop, we've been waiting with bated breath to hear a new song, and now we've finally got it. "Sparks" first premiered first on a Spanish radio show RTVE and has now been made available to stream via YouTube:
I keep listening to it over and over again to figure out what the hell is going on. That first blast of heavily saturated guitar and Victoria Legrand's layered vocals portend something special, which is just what we get with this gorgeous track. Legrand's organ and voice drone in perfect unison over a corroded digital beat, while Alex Scally's guitar's lay back and add small bits of texture, unleashing that volcanic noise again at select moments. Legrand's voice is more restrained than on previous singles, heavily breathy like My Bloody Valentine's Bilinda Butcher but with her same unmistakable husky tone, which comes through more clearly as the song progresses.The chorus is subtle but lovely, like Neil Young by way of Broadcast, but the best bits are the details—that skip in the beat right before the chorus, those high sliding guitar notes that sound like reverb-drenched shooting stars. It's somewhat long and amorphous but never outstays its welcome. You could listen for days and find new things to like about it.
Failure fans withstood a hot, humid tropical drizzle outside of Amoeba Hollywood June 30 for the chance to see the band perform after a 17-year absence.
The alt-rock band reunited last year after breaking up in 1997 due to personal differences. In that time, Failure maintained a sizable cult, due in part to the band members maintaining a visible presence in musical projects such as Autolux, ON and Year of the Rabbit. With their “classic lineup” of Greg Edwards, Ken Andrews and Kellii Scott together again, the band has been successfully touring, playing all over the U.S. and Europe, and at festivals such as Desert Daze and Sunset Strip Music Festival.
The band chose to focus half of its set on its newly released fourth album, The Heart Is a Monster, which has been well-received by both fans and outlets such as Pitchfork. They started the show with that album’s opener, “Hot Traveler,” a highlight as the song moved from muscular riffs to a dreamier closing. The Amoeba show featured the live debut of two new songs from the album, “A.M. Amnesia” and “Otherwhere,” sneaking in classic “Another Space Song” from 1996’s Fantastic Planet in between.
They say when you cut down an old tree, that you can tell how many years old it is by the number of "growth" rings it has in its cut diameter. Same is kinda true of when you do construction or clearing of an older house and find relics from the past whose timeline can be traced back. I had this experience this morning while helping a neighbor remove an old metal sheet tightly nailed to her garage window. We figured it had been covering the older building's window for maybe 25 or 30 years. Turns out it was an even longer period than that as confirmed by the half-rotted remains (see pic left) of the 43-year-old Jackson 5 flexi disc that had been jammed behind the metal sheet since, most likely, its 1972 release when it came free in, or rather on, a 13-ounce box of Alpha Bits breakfast cereal. That was when the Post Cereals company, who manufactured such other popular breakfast cereals as Super Sugar Crisp and Frosted Rice Krinkles, released The Jackson 5 flexi record in conjunction with Motown Records .
The one-sided, five track Jackson 5 disc (that had to be cut out of the back of the cereal box) included the then hugely popular family group's hits "ABC," "I'll Be There," and "Never Can Say Goodbye," as well as the slightly lesser known but still excellent tracks "Darling Dear" and "Maybe Tomorrow." Those Jackson 5 flexis, which you can find on eBay (in good to VG condition - not rotted like the one I found today) for about $5 these days, were the most popular for the cereal maker. And while, compared to a regular record, the sound quality and durability (they tended to easily warp and scratch) wasn't so great to the young fans getting them at the time (often the first record they would own) it was all good. Besides it was a free record with a box of cereal that cost approximately 38 cents in 1972. In addition to featuring Michael Jackson's family group as a cut-out flexi record, the cereal maker also hired the group to make a series of 30 second TV commercials for their Alpha Bits cereal. Below is one of those TV spots featuring the young members of The Jackson 5 in 1972 that note is wrongly ID'ed on the YouTube video as 1974.
Back in 1993 and 1994 Mercury Records put out promotional-only, cassette compilations featuring most of the hip-hop artists on their label at the time. These various artist tape collections assisted the label in their quest to try and get heard by as wide an audience as possible. Entitled Mercury: Jeep Tape '93 featuring [mixtape master] Ron G and Mercury: Jeep Tape '94 these various artists collections were given out at national music conventions like the Gavin Convention in San Francisco and the New Music Seminar in New York City where they would be included in registrants "swag bags." They'd also be handed out to industry folk, as well as mailed to record stores, radio DJs, and journalists.
The Jeep Tape cassette collections got their name because jeeps, where people would typically bump mixes like this, were popular with hip-hop fans to ride round in at the time. If you listen to hip-hop from that ere you often will hear references to jeeps such as in the popular 1994 single "Boomin' In Your Jeep" by Kenny Dope feat Screechy Dan that featured A Tribe Called Quest sample that gave the song its refrain, culled from the ATCQ song "Jazz." These Jeep Tape cassette compilations featured artists on their Mercury Records or smaller labels being distributed by them that included Diamond and The Psychotic Neurotics, Ed OG & The Bulldogs, Lighter Shade of Brown, Proper Dos, Ill Featuring Al Skratch, Dougie Dee, and Threat. In addition to regular versions of songs by these artists there were also some remixes included too such as the remix version of Yaggfu Front's "Slappin' Suckas Silly (Remix)." Above and below are the front and back covers of these two-decade old tape compilations that show up at Amoeba from time to time. Also below is the video for one of the tracks included on the 93 Jeep Tape, Diamond and The Psychotic Neurotics' "!! What U Heard" off the classic, five star album Stunts, Blunts, And Hip Hop.