Amoeblog

The 10 Best Wes Craven Movies

Posted by Billy Gil, August 31, 2015 06:10pm | Post a Comment

We were saddened to hear that acclaimed horror director Wes Craven died over the weekend, succumbing to brain cancer at the age of 76. In honor of the director, whose intelligent horror films are forever burned into the minds of kids born from the ’70s through the ’00s, we’ve compiled our 10 favorite Wes Craven movies. Check out these movies at Amoeba, rewatch your old favorites or catch up on any you haven’t seen.  

10. Shocker (1989; out on Blu-ray Sept. 8)

Craven’s attempt to start a new horror franchise following “Nightmare” didn’t quite pan out, but his film about a serial killer sent to the electric chair who becomes a being of pure electricity capable of possession still retains a certain cult cache. The upcoming Blu-ray includes a new commentary track and new interviews, among them with members of bands included on the soundtrack, such as Kiss, Dangerous Toys, Alice Cooper and Megadeth.

 

9. New Nightmare (1994)

With New Nightmare, Craven retook the reins of his “Nightmare” franchise, which included increasingly bad (though still financially successful) films made by other directors. A kind of precursor to his next film, Scream, New Nightmare was an inventive metafilm that saw film villain Freddy Kruger come to life and haunt the real-life cast and crew who had made the films, including original Nightmare heroine Heather Langenkamp playing herself. That’s one way to get back at the Hollywood machine for exploiting your film franchise … (Included on the seven film A Nightmare On Elm Street Blu-ray collection.)

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New "What's in My Bag?" Episode with Dam-Funk

Posted by Amoebite, August 31, 2015 05:18pm | Post a Comment

Dam Funk

Dam-Funk is a modern funk musician, vocalist, producer and DJ signed to Los Angeles-based label Stones Throw Records. A Pasadena native, Damon Riddick began his career working in the studio with artists such as Master P and and MC Eiht before remixing Baron Zen's cover of The Gap Band's "Burn Rubber" in 2007 under the Dam-Funk moniker. The remix built a buzz and soon thereafter Dam-Funk recorded two 12"s for Stones Throw, 2008's Burgundy City and Let's Take Off (Far Away). In 2009, he compiled a five-volume LP set of unreleased material called Toeachizown, which was eventually turned into a two-CD set later in the year.

Dam-Funk Invite the LightOver the course of his career, Dam-Funk has collaborated with a variety of artists, including Animal Collective, Nite Jewel, Ariel Pink, Peaking Lights and Hudson Mohawke. His album with Steve Arrington of SLAVE, Higher, and his album with Snoop Dogg, 7 Days of Funk, both came out via Stones Throw in 2013. Dam-Funk's third solo studio album and his first in six years, Invite the Light, is out this Friday, September 4 via Stones Throw.

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SFGS Presents Gathering of the Tribes Festival: A Psychedelic Music & Art Happening, September 13

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 30, 2015 06:43pm | Post a Comment

San Francisco Gathering of the TribesThe San Francisco Great Society presents Gathering of the Tribes Festival, an epic one-day psychedelic happening that is bringing local bands, artists, vendors, and fans together at Public Works on September 13th. Between the hours of 12pm and 12am, 18 bands including The She's, The Gentle Cycle, The Spiral Electric, LSD and the Search for God, Down and Outlaws, Cellar Doors, and many more will perform continuously on two stages with visuals provided by Mad Alchemy, White Light Prism, and Andy Puls.

Works by local artists Yasamine June (who designed this amazing poster), Galine Tumasyan, Robert Quinn, Doug Rhodes, and Matt Leunig will also be on display as well as the wares of many far out vendors.

This be-in is going to be the ultimate sonic and visual experience. We can't think of a better way to celebrate being in San Francisco.

Get your tickets now!

 

 

The Down and Outlaws
Down and Outlaws
The She's
The She's
Cellar Doors
Cellar Doors

 

Alles gute zum geburtstag Schaffel - The musical repercussions of Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus"

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 30, 2015 04:05pm | Post a Comment

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the infamous Depeche Mode Riots, in which half a dozen people were treated for minor injuries. Another Depeche Mode milestone is upon us as on 29 August 1989 the band released their 23rd single, "Personal Jesus" and basically invented the "schaffel" subgenre. 



It wasn't their first single to prominently feature electric guitars -- preceding non-album single "Route 66" (a cover of Bobby Troup's standard "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66") had made use of them to good effect. However, I was always suspicious when electronic musicians added guitars to their synthpop because so often it seemed like a calculated effort to appeal to the musical conservatives. It was with suspicion that I first approached "Personal Jesus" but after the release of the guitar-less "Enjoy the Silence" I breathed a sigh of relief. 



Truth be told, Iggy Pop was probably the first to recognize that combining electronics with the glitter stomp of T. Rex and Chinnichap was a good idea. "Nightclubbing" was released as a single in 1977 and featured a Glitter Band-inspired riff paired with a drum machine. I'm willing to bet, however, that a fair few of the schaffel crowd didn't hear that song until it resurfaced on the soundtrack of 1996's Trainspotting.

When Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus," arrived in 1989, twelve years after "Nightclubbing" it seemed to take another 11 years to inspire followers Covenant to resurrect the sound with "Like Tears in the Rain." By then it was apparent that a gimmick, if good enough, can be the basis of an entire movement and "shaffel" was born and And One, SuperpitcherE NomineT. Raumschmiere, ElectronicatWighnomy BrosGoldfrappAssemblage 23, CombichristWumpscut, Addam Bombb, and Zombie Girl all got in on the act. In 2004, Marilyn Manson released a cover that answered the previously unasked question, "What would 'Personal Jesus' sound like if massacred at karaoke by someone with terminal vocal fry?" 




SOME EXAMPLES OF SCHAFFEL


Covenant's "Like Tears in the Rain" (2000)


And One's "Wasted (Naghavi-Mix)" (2000)


E Nomine's "Mitternacht"
 (2001)


Quarks' "I Walk (Superpitcher Schaffel Mix)" (2002)

 
T. Raumschmiere's "Monster Truck Driver"
 (2003)


Electronicat's "21st Century Toy" (2003)

 
Wighnomy Bros & Robag Wruhme's "Bodyrock" (2003)

Goldfrapp's "Train" (2003)

Assemblage 23's "Dirt" (2007)


Follow me at ericbrightwell.com

SF Cops Recover Stolen Red Hot Chili Peppers Telecaster

Posted by Billyjam, August 28, 2015 09:59pm | Post a Comment

  

A valuable instrument with a rich rock music history stolen in a San Francisco burglary just under two weeks ago was recovered by the San Francisco police yesterday, as first reported by local NBC News and SF Gate today. The stolen vintage instrument, a 1966 Fender Telecaster guitar, was played in concerts by the Red Hot Chili Peppers between the years 1988 and 1992, and again between the years 1998 and 2009 when John Frusciante was a guitarist with the band (he initially joined in 1988 to replace then guitarist DeWayne "Blackbird" McKnight of Parliament-Funkadelic fame). Valued at $30K, plainclothes SFPD offices recovered the Fender, which was not in Frusciante's possession at the time of the August 16th robbery in SF's Bayview district. 

Reportedly the former RHCP guitarist had passed along his valuable axe to an associate who was, in turn, to pass it along to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a temporary loaner for an upcoming event. Above, in a video posted a short time ago today by YouTube member "Officer Manfredi," you can see the guitar being returned at the SFPD station. Below is a video of Frusciante playing the guitar at a Chili Peppers concert in Japan in 1990 when he joined Anthony Kiedis, Flea, and Chad Smith live at Club Citta, Kawasaki as part of the Mother's Milk tour.  Among Frusciante's other prized guitars in his collection are a 1962 Fender Stratocaster, a 1955 Gretsch White Falcon, and a custom 1969 Gibson Les Paul.

New "What's in My Bag?" Episode with The Everymen

Posted by Amoebite, August 28, 2015 06:44pm | Post a Comment

The Everymen

The Everymen are a New Jersey-based band who make straightforward punk rock jams in the vein of Jay Reatard and Rocket from the Crypt. Founded in 2009, the band has released two studio albums: 2012's New Jersey Hardcore and 2014's Givin' Up on Free Jazz. After a series of shows at SXSW, the band went back to the studio in spring 2015 to record with Ben Tanner of Alabama Shakes for a planned 2016 release. In summer 2015, The War on Drugs invited the The Everymen to open for them on their North American tour dates.

While on tour, Mike V and Catherine Herrick from The Everymen stopped by Amoeba Hollywood and shared their finds with our What's In My Bag? crew. Mike V picked up Hate Your Friends by The Lemonheads, citing it as the record that inspired him to write songs and start a band when he was a teenager. Catherine chose Duran Duran's self-titled album, revealing that she "went through a huge, obsessive Duran Duran period" when she was in high school and that one time she accidentally followed John Taylor down the street. Check out the rest of Mike V and Catherine's picks in the full episode below:

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Album Picks: Beach House, The Weeknd, Tamaryn, Destroyer, Yo La Tengo, Tijuana Panthers

Posted by Billy Gil, August 28, 2015 11:30am | Post a Comment

Beach House - Depression Cherry

Beach House’s latest album strips back some of the pop shimmer of their last two albums while maintaining the more confident songcraft they started debuting on 2010’s Teen Dream. It’s a bold move, and one that proves to be the right one for Beach House, as they’ve kept the reins on their trajectory and integrity while furthering the quality of their songwriting. First single “Sparks” is a powerhouse shoegazer that showcases the duo’s strengths, pairing Alex Scally’s emotive guitarwork with Victoria LeGrand’s lush, layered vocals. “Space Song” is a luscious, swaying love song built on a bubbling synthesizer and sighing guitar slides. “10:37’s” deliberately chintzy drum machine keeps time like a cheap alarm clock while Legrand’s vocals and synths float by hazily like nighttime clouds. Album highlight “PPP” reimagines girl group devotion in a serpentine, whispery ballad that ranks among the band’s finest songs. You might miss some of Bloom’s bombast, but you also can’t argue with the quality here. Beach House remain the most consistently great band of their ilk on another album of uncommon, unflinching beauty.

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Amoeba Sponsors the 58th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, September 18-20

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 27, 2015 06:59pm | Post a Comment

 

Monterey Jazz Festival

Amoeba Music is proud to be an official sponsor of the 58th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival and to once Monterey Jazz Festivalagain be on-site with the Mini-Amoeba store! Each year, we have a magical time meeting jazz fans and seeing the world's best musicians. 

This year's festival welcomes more than 500 artists performing nonstop on eight stages for three nights and two days! Come see amazing sets from Wynton Marsalis, Chick Corea, Trombone Shorty, Monty Alexander, Pete Escovedo, Dianne Reeves, Chris Botti, Snarky Puppy, Lizz Wright, Rudresh Mahanthappa, and so many more!

Be sure to visit us at the Mini-Amoeba between sets for tons of rare, collectible, and out-of-print CDs and LPs for sale from our vaults. Plus, look for a host of artists who will be signing copies of their albums at our booth.

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Weekly Roundup: Julia Holter, The Mantles, Ezra Furman, DRINKS

Posted by Billy Gil, August 27, 2015 03:33pm | Post a Comment

Julia Holter “Sea Calls Me Home”

According to L.A.-based artist Julia Holter, her new song “is about moving away from things that trap you, the scary wonder in discovering freedom.” With a Beach Boys-ish beat and a jaunty whistle, the song can’t help but feel like getting out of a bad relationship or quitting a shitty job and staring out at the ocean, finding excitement and clarity before the anxiety of what’s next hits. It’s a difficult emotion to capture, and Holter does so masterfully, capturing a difficult in-between moment. Have You in My Wilderness is due September 25 on Domino.

 

The Mantles – “Doorframe”

Photo by David Armstrong

Bay Area jangle-pop kids The Mantles are back with a new album called All Odds Ends, due Oct. 16 on Slumberland. The first song is a forlorn little ditty called “Doorframe” that throws some wonderfully gloomy synths over the band’s spirited guitar interplay, feeling like a shady cloud on a summer day. We were big fans of their last album, Long Enough to Leave, so can’t wait to hear what else All Odds has to offer.

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San Francisco's Light Rail Studios Yard Show Benefit for SFCR + Save KUSF with Record Fair, DJs inc. Irwin, & bands inc. Chantigs

Posted by Billyjam, August 27, 2015 12:51pm | Post a Comment

This week Brian Springer at San Francisco Community Radio (SFCR) - the online radio station that was also known as KUSF In Exile and continues the legacy of beloved Bay Area college radio station KUSF - sent out a mass email to those remaining Bay Area folks who "still remember what community radio meant to SF," encouraging them to come to this weekend's benefit SFCR Yard Show at the Light Rail Studios space where DJs like Irwin (who presents the popular Sleeves on Hearts music show and who was active in the protests that took place back in 2011) have been broadcasting from since getting unceremoniously booted off the USF campus back in  2011.

Saturday's (August 29th) twelve-hour event starts at 10am and will offer non-stop fun and entertainment with a variety of food trucks, a record fair, SFCR  DJs spinning live at the event, and many great bands playing including San Francisco alt music vets Chantigs, whose success was due in large part to the former radio station. The frequency 90.3FM still exists on the dial but nothing else resembling the former great station that was such an integral part of the fabric of the local San Francisco music scene for so many years.







That day KUSF was booted off the air was a traumatic one for people associated with the station and one they will never forget. "We were forced out by the SFPD while on air. This was January 21st, 2011," recalled Brian this week, adding how, "We only languished for about 3 months until Light Rail was chosen as our best venue to make an online stream. The University has asked us to stop using KUSF, basically anything with USF in it.  They did retain the rights to "KUSF" as a brand.   They really only sold the right to transmit on the 90.3 frequency. Upon the onset, we established that we would be SFCR, San Francisco Community Radio, which is the name of our 501c3."  

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FOALS Listening Party at Amoeba SF, Friday 8/28

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 25, 2015 07:38pm | Post a Comment

Foals

Oxford, England's FOALS release their fourth full-length album, What Went Down, this Friday (8/28) andFoals, What Went Down we at Amoeba San Francisco are gonna celebrate the momentous occasion with a free, all-ages album listening party at 4:00pm, and you are all invited!

Besides getting to hear What Went Down in its entirety, you will also get a free FOALS poster with purchase of the new album (only while supplies last) and partake in some yummy FOALS cake! But that's not all! Making the scene at this very special event will allow you to enter to win a fabulous FOALS gift pack containing a limited edition hand-stamped cassette, a portable cassette player, and both What Went Down and Holy Fire on vinyl! The only way to enter is to come on down. See you there!

The 90s...the best movies of 1990...

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 25, 2015 07:00pm | Post a Comment



I am continuing my journey back through the 90s that I started a couple of years ago. I compiled my top ten albums of the first part of the 90s. In case you missed those you can check them out here. I am now moving on to film and listing my top ten films of each year of the 90s. I will be of course starting with 1990. Since it is the 25th anniversary of 1990! I know it is hard to believe. The 90s is still my favorite decade for music and for film. Although the 80s is really hard to compete with. But a film I loved when I was ten or 12 in the 80s is much different than a film I loved when I was 18 or 20 in the 90s. I really grew up in the 80s. But my high school and college years were in the 90s. 90s films just became a bit more serious for me. Or at least I took film more seriously. Sort of. These were the years I discovered foreign film. The years I discovered the genius of David Lynch and John Waters. I of course loved movies in the 80s but the 90s are when I really fell in love with film and started to understand film and the vision of a director. When I started to really pay attention to editing and cinematography and scores. There were of course some absolutely horrible movies in the 90s. You might even think some of the movies on my list are some of your least favorite!


This is a list of my specific ten films of the year that I love the most. I don't claim for these to be the ten best films of that year. And they certainly are not your favorite films of the year. The great thing about movies is that we all connect differently to different movies. It would be very rare to find two people with the exact same list of ten films from any given year. These are the movies that I have owned on VHS and DVD and Blu-ray. The movies that I have watched over and over again. The movies that I would go see again in the theater if I ever had a chance. These are the movies that make me happy. The movies that make me cry. The movies that I have probably watched too many times already. But if they were on TV I would not be able to resist watching them again. If I ever feel depressed or sad these are the movies that I can turn to knowing they will make me feel better. I really can't even imagine my life or life in general without these movies.

I am going to start each list with a list of the top ten films of that year at the box office. Just as a reference for the year. I will also list what won the Oscar that year for best picture.

1990


Top Ten Films at the Box Office...


Home Alone
Ghost
Dances With Wolves
Pretty Woman
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Hunt For The Red October
Total Recall
Die Hard 2
Dick Tracy
Kindergarten Cop




Best Picture Oscar...Dances With Wolves


my top ten films of 1990...

#1 Goodfellas
Martin Scorsese

We all get introduced to our favorite directors through different films. It often depends on what age you are when a certain movie comes out in the theater. Or just what film you happen to watch for the first time by that director. It could be the first movie that a certain friend recommends to you or makes you watch for the first time. Goodfellas was my first introduction to Martin Scorsese. And I was hooked on him from that point after. I went back and watched Raging Bull and The Last Temptation of Christ. I went to the theater in the years that followed to see Cape Fear, The Age Of Innocence and Casino. Goodfellas is just one of those perfect movies that I can always go back to. I love the Ray Liotta narration. I love the performances of Lorraine Bracco, Robert De Niro and of course Joe Pesci! I think I actually saw this movie before the Godfather movies so this was one of my first gangster movies. Unless you count Bugsy Malone (1976) with Jodie Foster and Scott Baio. It is hard to believe that this movie did not win Best Picture at the Oscars. But Kevin Costner & Dances With Wolves swept the awards that year. Joe Pesci did walk away with a much deserved Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. And the film did win all the BAFTAs and the DGA and a whole bunch of other awards.

#2 Edward Scissorhands
Tim Burton
I love Tim Burton. Like most people I know who grew up in the 90s. I felt like he was one of the directors who I could actually relate to. He really understood a whole generation of kids. The goth kids and weird kids into horror movies and fantasy. His movies were fantastical and ridiculous at times. But I was in love with almost everything he did in the 90s. I was a big Pee-Wee Herman fan and loved Pee-Wee's Big Adventure more than almost anything. After that movie and then Beetlejuice and Batman I was a serious Tim Burton fan. Those were 3 of my favorite films of the 80s so I was already a huge fan going into Edward Scissorhands for the first time. And I was already hooked on Winona Ryder from Heathers and Johnny Depp from 21 Jumpstreet.  So it was virtually impossible for me to not love this movie! I try to watch this movie about once a year and never get sick of it. It has everything I love about a Tim Burton movie. It is seriously funny with great supporting performances from Vincent Price, Dianne Weist & Kathy Baker. It a crazy ridiculous fantasy film that only somebody like Burton could pull off. And it is a great love story! The film is beautiful to look at and one of those movies that I can't resist jumping into whenever I can.

#3 Pump Up The Volume
Allan Moyle

Heathers is probably my favorite movie of all time. It came out the year before Pump Up The Volume. I think it actually changed my life forever. It probably helped me develop into the person I am today. I probably learned how to be sarcastic and morbid from this movie. And I forever loved dark comedies after this movie. My love for Heathers was mostly due to Winona Ryder and Christian Slater. So I tried to see everything by them I could in the years that followed. I was already in love with Slater from The Legend Of Billie Jean. But this movie really sealed the deal. Pump Up The Volume was the perfect movie to end the 80s and begin the 90s with. Most of 1990 really still felt like the 80s and the 90s really didn't start for me until maybe 1991. Samantha Mathis was also great in this movie but it was really all out Christian Slater. I love this movie so much. I think we all probably wanted to run a pirate radio station after seeing this movie. I loved how he was the nerdy student undercover at school during the day and then the sex crazed cool dude at night on his radio station. Allan Moyle also directed the brilliant Times Square from 1980 and would go on to direct Empire Records in 1995. The soundtrack to this movie is also one of the best. You might not be able to relate to this movie or understand its importance if you didn't grow up in the late 80s & early 90s. But this movie seriously spoke to me and I will never forget the way it made me feel.

#4 Misery
Rob Reiner

Can we talk about Kathy Bates in this movie. Seriously one of the best performances of all time. She also went on to have another perfect performance in 1995 in Dolores Claiborne. Another Stephen King movie! I love Stephen King. In the 80s and 90s there were some amazing Stephen King books made into some equally amazing movies. Cujo, Christine, Children Of The Corn, Stand By Me, Pet Sematary, & then Misery. This movie is creepy and thrilling from start to finish. Both Kathy Bates and James Caan are fantastic in this film. Kathy Bates deservedly won the Best Actress Oscar this year for this performance. I even love Richard Farnsworth and Frances Sternhagen in this movie and could watch a whole movie about them. And Lauren Bacall is perfect as always as Paul Sheldon's book agent. I just love the mood of this film. A perfect movie to me always has the perfect combination of a good script and good acting. But even more important to me sometimes is the mood of the film. I love when the art direction, score, costumes, cinematography & editing all come together perfectly to make the perfect movie. This is one of those movies for me. It is a dark and twisted story. But it is told so brilliantly. Kathy Bates performance is meant to be a bit over the top and obsessive. It could have gone all wrong with someone else in this role. She just handles the character perfectly. She switches between attentive nurse and psycho super fan so easily. This is another one of those movies I just love jumping into the world of. I of course would not want to be trapped in that house with the Kathy Bates character. But I have a thing for snow movies and always love watching movies that take place in the winter snow. I love putting on this movie and becoming part of its world.

#5 Wild At Heart
David Lynch


Wild At Heart was another first for me this year. It was the first film I ever saw directed by David Lynch. But I was already a fan of the man from a little show called Twin Peaks. My love for Twin Peaks and all things David Lynch would only get stronger over the years. But 1990 is when it all started! I was already a huge Nicholas Cage fan because of Valley Girl and Raising Arizona. I have been going back and watching all these films the last couple of weeks. I seriously have not seen this movie in almost 20 years. But I still had almost every line and scene memorized. I forgot how much I loved this movie. The cinematography and art direction of this film is fantastic. And like most David Lynch films, the score and soundtrack are amazing. Laura Dern and Nicolas Cage are both perfect. Sailor & Lula forever! Laura Dern just kills it in her performance as Lula. The film is crazy and fantastic and just a little bit creepy in only that very unique David Lynch way. A sex crazed Lynchian version of The Wizard of Oz! I don't think I had ever seen a film like this before. It is probably one of his more accessible movies but it is still weird and experimental. It is super sexy and dreamy. It is the genius of David Lynch. And I can't even handle Dianne Ladd's performance as Lula's mom. She is just perfection in this movie. I can't get enough of her outfits and here wigs in this movie. And she had some of the best lines ever in this movie. Dianne Ladd even got a Best Supporting Oscar Nomination for this film. The film also has some amazing scene stealing supporting performances from Crispin Glover, Willem Dafoe & Isabella Rossellini. And you will recognize Grace Zabriske, Sheryl Lee, Sherilyn Fenn & Jack Nance from Twin Peaks. I always love Grace Zabriske and she does not disappoint in this film. This is one of those movies that I simply can't think of the 90s without.

#6 Trust
Hal Hartley


I am pretty sure that Trust was my first Hal Hartley movie. It might have actually been my first "Indie" movie. My first glimpse of what a film outside the major studios could look like. There were no stars that I had ever seen in this movie. It didn't have a huge budget. It was not flashy. You could tell the story was probably written by the director. It was his baby that he had probably worked on for years. I did fall for Hal Hartley pretty quickly. I went back and forth to the video store and rented all of his films over the early and mid 90s. I watched The Unbelievable Truth, Simple Men, Surviving Desire, Amateur, FlirtHenry Fool. He used a lot of the same cast throughout his movies. And I soon knew Adrienne Shelly, Martin Donovan & Robert John Burke like they were my new best friends. I am not sure how someone would react to seeing these movies for the first time 25 years later. But they still hold up for me. And I have had lots of fun revisiting them. The stories are always a bit wacky and quirky. But they are real stories of somewhat real people in ordinary small towns. They are about real relationships and first meetings. They are about falling in love and how one chance encounter can change the rest of your life. The scripts are always genuine and intelligent. I just love the characters he creates. I don't think these movies could exist in any other time but the 90s. His first movie did come out in 1989. But the era of 90s film really sort of started in 1989.

#7 Last Exit To Brooklyn
Uli Edel


This movie might be too dark and depressing for most people. But I fell in love with it the first time I saw it. It depicts the dark side of living in Brooklyn in the 50s. It spends equal time developing the stories of a prostitute and a working class closeted union guy. The story of course does not end well for the gay characters in this movie played by Stephen Lang or Alexis Arquette. But I still somehow enjoy this movie. I just love this movie because it seems to offer a more honest portrayal of what it meant to be poor in the 50s. It also portrayed the gay characters realistically for the time period. Most movies that take place in the 50s show an idealistic perfect way of living. The film is based on the famous novel of Hubert Selby Jr. But the most important thing about this movie is Jennifer Jason Leigh! This was really the world's first introduction to the magic of Jennifer Jason Leigh. I was pretty much hooked on her after this movie. She of course went on to become one of my favorite actresses of the 90s in Rush, Single White Female, Short Cuts, The Hudsucker Proxy, Mrs. Parker & The Vicious Circle, Dolores Claiborne, Georgia, Kansas CityBastard Out Of Carolina. She plays the prostitute Tralala in this film. She really becomes this character and completely takes over the film. There is just something about Jennifer Jason Leigh that I can never quite explain. But I really do love everything she ever does. Jennifer Jason Leigh is one of those actresses you either love or hate. Her characters in this film and Dolores Clairborne have stayed with me over the years. This movie also features Ricki Lake who was already known as the star of Hairspray. But this was another one of her first roles. Sam Rockwell also shows up in this movie in his first film role. I always pay attention to the scores of my favorite films and this is another great one. Mark Knopfler creates a great score to go along with this film. This was German director Uli Edel's only big movie of the 90s. But almost 25 years later he directed another one of my favorites. The Baader Meinhof Complex. I can't recommend that movie enough. I think about it often much like Last Exit To Brooklyn.

#8 La Femme Nikita
Luc Besson


I love this movie! I had not seen it since the 90s and was happy to find out that I still love it as much as I did when I first saw it. It has really been fun to revisit all these movies again. It seriously takes me right back to the 90s. This might have been the first foreign movie that I ever saw. It was for sure the first foreign film that got me this excited. Not only did this movie introduce me to the world of foreign cinema but it also introduced me to the director Luc Besson. I would of course become a huge fan of his over the next couple of years with The Professional and The Fifth Element. And I had actually seen The Big Blue a couple of years before this which also starred Jean Reno. I just had no idea who the director was at the time. Anne Parillaud stars as Nikita in this movie. She is fantastic in this movie and on my list of favorite female action stars along with Linda Hamilton in The Terminator and Sigourney Weaver in the Alien movies. This movie was remade in 1993 as Point Of No Return. I know most people don't like that remake as much as the original. But I actually really like Bridget Fonda and have a fondness for that movie too. I really love the score to all of these 90s movies on this list. I just love the overall mood and feel of this film. The supporting cast is also great but it is really all about Nikita. I highly recommend revisiting this film if you have not watched it in a while. And you absolutely must watch it if you somehow missed it the first time. I watched a lot of foreign films in the 90s and it makes me happy to know that it all started with this film..

#9 Total Recall
Paul Verhoeven


Like most kids who grew up in the 80s I became a big of Arnold Schwarzenegger at a pretty young age. And he really just became somebody that I would sort of love no matter what. He is really sort of like Disneyland in that way. I became a huge fan of Disneyland and all things Disney at a really young age and now I am a fan for life. They get us when we are young and we never turn our back on them. The Conan movies were my first introduction to Arnold. I still remember the first time I saw them at a sleepover at a friends house. I was obsessed with both Arnold and Grace Jones after those movies. Then came The Terminator, Commando, Predator & The Running Man. 1990 was the year of Total Recall and Kindergarten Cop which I also have no shame in admitting that I loved. Total Recall introduced me to both Paul Verhoeven and Sharon Stone. They would of course work together again in one of my other favorites Basic Instinct. Verhoeven also directed Showgirls, Starship Troopers and RoboCop. Total Recall is just pure fun. It is ridiculous and over the top at times. And this movie will certainly not be everyone's favorite. But I just love it. I have always loved science fiction and action films and anything that takes place in space or involves time travel. This movie has everything you could ever want from a Schwarzenegger film. I will even defend the latest Terminator film because of my love of Schwarzenegger. But there is really nothing like 80s and 90s Schwarzenegger.

#10 Longtime Companion
Norman Rene


This was most certainly the first "gay" film that I had ever seen that depicted normal characters. I had seen gay characters in some movies prior to 1990. But never like this. These dudes were most certainly not the gay guys in Last Exit To Brooklyn. My exposure to gay films had mostly been from films like The Boys In The Band and Come Back To The 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean Jimmy Dean. Longtime Companion is heartbreaking and the most gayest of tear jerkers ever. But I still love it. And I find it sort of comforting at the same time. The characters are all so likable. This movie is also so very 80s. One of the stories is about a gay character coming out on a soap opera. So of course I love that. The film starts in 1981 and ends in 1989. It deals with a group of friends in New York at the outbreak of AIDS. This movie also introduced me to Mary-Louise Parker, Campbell Scott & Dermot Mulroney. This was certainly the first time I had seen Mary-Louise Parker and Campbell Scott. And I became a fan for life of both of them after this. I was already a fan of Dermot Mulroney since I had seen him in some TV movies and Young Guns! Bruce Davidson is also great in this film and even got nominated for a best supporting Oscar. And I can't even explain how great it was to see Michael Schoeffling in a gay role. Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles! I can't resist jumping back into this movie about once a year. I always want to revisit these characters. It was so great to finally see real gay characters having real interactions in a film. And this film certainly put a real face on the AIDS crisis for many of us. It certainly woke me up. The director of this film went on to direct a couple more films after this but died of AIDS in 1996. After this film I went back and discovered some great gay films of the 80s. Another Country (1984), My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), Desert Hearts (1985), Parting Glances (1986), Torch Song Trilogy (1985), Maurice (1987) & Prick Up Your Ears (1987) would all become some of my favorites. But it all started for me with Longtime Companion. And I will  never forget the first time I saw this film.

Up next...1991
 

One Album Wonders: Sad Iron

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 25, 2015 01:40pm | Post a Comment
SAD IRON - TOTAL DAMNATION (1983)

This week’s One Album Wonder is Dutch heavy metal band, Sad Iron, who released their only album, Total Damnation, in 1983.

*****

Sad Iron wasn't forged in the Netherworld, but rather the Netherlands -- the harbor town of Hoorn, to be precise. The founder and sole constant member since their formation in 1979 is guitarist Bernard Rive. He soon recruited Dirk Ooms (bass), Gerrit Soering (drums), and Jan Palenstijn (vocals). Three of Sad Iron’s songs, performed live, were included on Holland Heavy Metal Vol. 1. As a result of winning a battle of the bands, Sad Iron were rewarded with once day of studio time at K&M Geluidsregistratie.

Rive entered the studio with new members Leo "Pro Deo" Ockeloen on bass, Jacques Van Oevelen on drums, and Herke Van Der Poel on vocals and they recorded Total Damnation in one day. Sad Iron shared stages with bands like Hanoi Rocks, Picture, and Vandale.

The band’s name, Sad Iron, is odd. Most English speakers have probably never heard of a sadiron (a flatiron pointed at both ends and having a removable handle) and even split into two words, "sad" and "iron," the desired effect remains elusive. The lyrics on Total Damnation are also awkward -- but in a way that is not unfamiliar to anyone who ever listens to non-Anglo European music nevertheless sung in English. The best song, “We All Praise the Devil,” includes the line “We all praise the devil, he’s so fine” which lyrically owes as much to The Chiffons as it does Chemosh, dark lord of the Moabites.

Sad Iron - Total Damnation

The awkwardness of Ab Kooyman's album art can't be explained away by language barrier, however. On it the band’s name weeps large tears as a professional wrestler-looking demon wields a Flying V guitar like a shovel whilst an eagle and tiger look with strange expressions. In the background is some sort of neoclassical financial institution or something. It's charmingly odd but, again, not atypical for heavy metal releases of the era -- nor is the focus on Satan, which might warrant some explanation for the modern listener not emersed in the history of heavy metal or Satan's place in late 20th Century pop culture.

For most adults the notion of songs about Satan is no more scary than songs about monster parties but in the 1980s it Satanic metal struck a fearsome chord into the hearts of the meek. Just a couple of decades earlier Satanism and the Occult seem to have been viewed as harmless fun -- like going to a renaissance fair or LARPingThe Church of Satan was established in 1966, not surprisingly, in San Francisco. In Los Angeles County, Louise Huebner was appointed the county’s official witch. The Beatles stuck and image of Aleister Crowley on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and The Rolling Stones sang “Sympathy for the Devil.” Ira Levin’s popular novel, Rosemary’s Baby, was adapted into a hit Hollywood film in 1968 -- the same year Black Sabbath formed, taking their name from a 1963 Mario Bava film of the same name.



In the 1970s, that interest in Satanism and the Occult continued. Kenneth Anger finally completed Lucifer Rising in 1972. Dungeons & Dragons was published in 1974.  There were quite a lot of Satanic horror films, the most popular being The Exorcist (1973) and The Omen (1976). Even Aaron Spelling (and two future Charlie’s Angels) made a network television movie, Satan's School for Girls. In music, mainstream rockers like Blue Öyster Cult and Led Zeppelin overtly (if superficially) played with occult imagery most Satanic bands like Angel Witch, Black WidowCloven Hoof, Pagan Altar, Venom, Witchfynde, and others remained decidedly underground and mostly appeared toward the end of the decade. 

Satan was dragged back into the spotlight by a group far scarier than Satanists and far more sinister than metal-heads -- evangelical Christian fundamentalists. Always late to the scene, America's Taliban focused their blame for society's ills on loud guitar music, role-playing games, and "gory" 8-bit video games. The flames of their moral panic were fanned by those eager to exploit their superstitious gullibility, figures like Michelle Smith, who published a memoir (co-written by her psychiatrist and future husband) filled with Satanic ritual abuse called Michelle Remembers, in 1980. Although exposed as a fraud, the imaginations of hypnotized psychiatric patients and children were suddenly treated as fact and hack "journalists" like Geraldo Rivera explored and exploited the imaginary Satanic Underground.

For the most part watching these crusaders tilt at windmills was highly entertaining. I regularly tuned in to Bob Larsons (author of Satanism: The Seduction of America's Youth) radio show, in which he would antagonize and be antagonized by metal-head phone trolls and hostile guests. I used to eagerly collect Jack Chick tracts, small comic books that suggested that even benevolent Buddhists were bound for eternal damnation and that trick-or-treating was a Satanic recruitment tool. Some friends of mine were on an episode of Montel Williams about the evils of goth subculture (his henchquack Sylvia Browne must've been busy that day). 


Sometimes it was impossible to laugh, however. The McMartin Preschool case — which resulted in zero convictions -- was the most expensive trial in American history. In West Memphis, Arkansas, three innocent teenagers were sentenced to death in primarily because a jury was convinced that one of the three, since he word black and listened to Metallica (and U2), was surely guilty of ritual murder.

Thankfully, the Satanic Panic seems to be a thing of the past. Today paranoiacs and outrage addicts have a whole smorgasbord of folk devils and boogeymen to choose from (e.g. Barack Obama, the Illuminati, scientists, almonds, bicyclists, campus rape culture, Chinese birth tourists, Millennials, gluten, lawfully-wedded homosexuals, Mexicans, MSG, Muslims, old white men, Planned Parenthood, road diets, Socialists, tap water, the transgendered, undocumented migrants, universal healthcare, white twerkers, and bath salt-tweaking Floridians). Satan, by comparison, seems quaintly old fashioned, as much a part of the '80s as friendship bracelets and beads.

Back to Sad Iron's one album, then. Metal is one of those genres which, to an outsider like me, seems to treat virtually interchangeable sounds as vastly different genres. For metalheads the fact that Sad Iron play both speed metal and thrash counts as versatility. If your'e a big fan of bands like Exciter, Judas PriestSaxon or New Wave of Dutch Metal you should definitely give Sad Iron a listen. (Here’s their website).

Sad Iron fans (Image Source: Sad Iron Metal)

Sad Iron, after all, clearly have their fans and after the release of Total Damnation they were pursued by a couple of labels, Roadrunner and Mausoleum. They decided to go with the latter who ended up going bankrupt in 1986 (they've since been revived). Sad Iron's follow-up album, The Antichrist, was thus never released and the master tapes were lost. The band broke-up shortly after but Satan works in mysterious ways and a line-up of Sad Iron played a reunion show in 2000 at the Heavy Metal Maniacs Festival in Hoorn. Rive decided to have another go with a new line-up comprised, this time, of Charles Heijnen (bass), Marc van den Bos (vocals and rhythm guitar), and Robert Bakker (drums). The embarked on the Dutch Steel Attack Tour with Hammerhawk and Vortex.

*****
Follow me at ericbrightwell.com

20 Albums to Look For at the End of Summer

Posted by Billy Gil, August 25, 2015 01:16pm | Post a Comment

Summer isn't over yet, and there are tons of great releases coming in the next few weeks. Check out our list of 20 upcoming albums, including new records from Lana Del Rey, David Gilmour, FIDLAR and more.

Beach HouseDepression Cherry

Out Aug. 28

Beach House’s latest album strips back some of the pop shimmer of their last two albums while retaining the more confident songcraft they started debuting on 2010’s Teen Dream. First single “Sparks” is a powerhouse shoegazer that showcases the duo’s strengths, pairing Alex Scally’s emotive guitarwork with Victoria LeGrand’s lush, layered vocals.

 

DestroyerPoison Season

Out Aug. 28

Dan Bejar’s 10th album with Destroyer is preceded by the pensive chamber pop of “Girl in a Sling,” as well as the horn-laden and celebratory “Dream Lover” and “Times Square.”

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Hiero Day 2015 Lineup To Include Alkaholiks, Domo Genesis, Aceyalone, The Coup, Cali Agents, Luniz, CMW, HBK, Zion I, & Equipto

Posted by Billyjam, August 25, 2015 07:50am | Post a Comment


The folks at Oakland's Hieroglyphics hip-hop collective have announced the anticipated lineup for this year's Hiero Day that does not disappoint and happens on Monday, September 7th at 3rd and Chestnut Streets in Oakland. In addition to headlining act the Hieros, whose membership boasts members such as Souls of Mischief, Del the Funky Homosapien, Casual, and DJ Toure, this year's amazing Hiero Day 2015 lineup will feature 45 diverse acts across three stages that covers various eras and subgenres of hip-hop. This impressive lineup will include Tha Alkaholiks, who arrived on the hip-hop scene the same time as the Hieros; Odd Future's Domo Genesis; Cali Agents (Rasco and Planet Asia); Stones Throw founder DJ/producer Peanut Butter Wolf; Boots Riley's legendary Oakland political hip-hop soldiers The Coup; Freestyle Fellowship's super-gifted emcee Aceyalonelegendary Oakland rap duo the Luniz; Raashan Ahmad's group formerly known as The Mission - Crown City RockersMC Eiht's legendary '90s SoCal rap group Compton's Most Wanted; hometown hip-hop heroes Foreign Legion; Rhymesayers' female emcee talent Psalm One (who changed her name for a minute in recent years); Zion I, Phat Kat & Guilty Simpson; Equipto & Otayo Dubb; HBK members Kool John, P-Lo, and Jay Ant in separate sets; and hyphy era stars The Team

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Bay Area Vibez Festival Featuring Bassnectar, Nas, Aloe Blacc & More, September 26-27

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 23, 2015 05:00pm | Post a Comment

On September 26th and 27th, Oakland's Middle Harbor Shoreline Park will be transformed into a mecca of Bay Area Vibez, Oaklandmusic, art, and food by the inaugural Bay Area Vibez Festival, an urban lifestyle event that celebrates diversity through live music and the arts. Supporting regional youth and music programs, Bay Area Vibez is endorsing HipHopSavesLives.org (HHSL) as the festival's charity partner. HHSL works in conjunction with Sankofa.org (a non-profit founded by Harry Belafonte) to better spread social justice, through youth and music, with a plan to bring portable music studios to community centers in both San Francisco and Oakland.

With over 25 bands and DJs on multiple stages, we know this is just the beginning for this ambitious festival. On Saturday, September 26, Aloe Blacc performs with Sankofa Sound (a collection of musicians that align themselves with a-list artists who gather through Sankofa.org), along with the festival headliners, multiple Grammy winners Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and Stephen “Ragga” Marley. Also performing Saturday are Morgan Heritage, The Grouch & Eligh, Tarrus Riley, Fishbone, Cut Chemist, Mod Sun, Queen Omega, I-Live, Skip Marley, Forrest Day, I-Wayne, and Black Am-I.

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DJ Precision Wins 2015 DMC US Finals Again, With Manwell Placing Second And Dwells In Third Place

Posted by Billyjam, August 22, 2015 11:49pm | Post a Comment

At Webster Hall in New York City this evening the heated national annual turntablist battle for the best DJ in the USA, the prestigious 2015 DMC US Finals, took place with Queens' own DJ Precision winning the title at the East 11th Street venue. The DJ has won three times (including this latest battle) in the six minute battle, plus he also won in this year's DMC US Supremacy, which adds up to an impressive four DMC US titles in all. 

An icon within the turntable community and a regular DMC battle participant and winner, Precision (born Perrin Wright ) won the national title last three years ago at the 2012 US DMC US Finals DJ battle. At that DMC US Finals battle, also held at NYC's Le Poisson Rouge on the west side of Greenwich Village, the runner up was Virginia's DJ I-Dee, but then last year won the US Finals (the previous year's 2013 US DMC Finals winner was DJ Esquire). At that 2012 US DMC Finals, the third place slot was earned by LA representative Manwell who made it back into the finals again this year where he took second place. Meanwhile, in third place this year was DJ Dwells -  the supertalented young winner of the NYC Regional battle for two years in a row. In last year's US Finals, Dwells, who is now only 15, took second place. This year, despite been tipped by many as a potential winner of tonight's battle, he was overtaken in the heated turntable showdown in which other talented participants included DJ Ambideckstriks, DJ Ease, and DJ Throwdown.

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New Vinyl Reissues This Week from John Lennon, The Reatards & More

Posted by Amoebite, August 21, 2015 06:54pm | Post a Comment

Vinyl Reissues

Want weekly updates about new releases & pre-orders? Subscribe to our brand new vinyl email newsletter.

This week's vinyl reissues include eight John Lennon releases on heavyweight vinyl, debut albums from The Scientists & The Modern Lovers, and more. Here are the reissue highlights for August 21, 2015.

Babes in Toyland Vinyl Reissue Babes in Toyland
Fontanelle [180gm vinyl]

180gm vinyl reissue of the hard-rocking trio’s 1992 album.
Empire of the Sun Vinyl Empire of the Sun
Walking on a Dream

Lana Del Rey's 'Honeymoon' Up For Preorder

Posted by Billy Gil, August 21, 2015 12:15pm | Post a Comment

Lana Del Reythe gangster Nancy Sinatra of our dreams, has a new album on the way called Honeymoon, due Sept. 18 on Interscope. You can preorder it now on LP and CD. Check out the album art above, which was revealed today.

She also shared a new song with the classy, swaying "Terrence Loves You," which you can stream below. This comes on the heels of "High By the Beach" and the title track, which taken together offer an idea of the diversity to expect from album No. 4.

Watch a performance of "Without You" live at Amoeba below:

Album Picks: Dr. Dre, Wilco, Gardens & Villa, Deradoorian, DRINKS

Posted by Billy Gil, August 21, 2015 11:27am | Post a Comment

Dr. DreCompton

With the release of the biopic Straight Outta Compton about pioneering hip hop group N.W.A., Dr. Dre has found himself rejuvenated as an artist. The rapper and onetime N.W.A. member has long been largely behind the scenes as a producer and businessman, but there’s still been hope he’d release something of his own, with a long-promised Detox album now shelved. That’s for the better; with an artist of Dre’s caliber, we’d rather have something polished to compare with his first two solo albums, and Compton, a companion piece to the film, doesn’t disappoint. Among A-list guest spots (Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Eminem) and lush jazz-funk production by Dre and a score of others, the album finds Dre looking back at his legacy. “Goddammit, I'm too old, I forgot I got it all/But Andre young enough to still get involved” he says on “Talk About It,” embodying his younger self to hang with the next generation he’s helped mentor. Dre tells the story of Compton’s troubled history (along with fellow Compton native Lamar) on standout “Genocide,” with dizzying production by Dem Jointz and a sick hook by Marsha Ambrosius. It should go without saying that the rapping across Compton is jaw droppingly great, not least of all by Dre himself, who raps circles around the young’uns on tracks like “It’s All On Me.” I would have liked to hear more of Dre and fewer guest spots (two tracks don’t have him at all), but taken together it’s an incredibly solid amalgam of compilation and solo album. It’s too soon to call Compton a new hip hop classic, but with countless memorable moments across the album’s 16 tracks, it’s looking that way. Certainly it’s an appropriately great finale to Dr. Dre’s rap career, though with as great as Compton is and as much acclaim as its received, hopefully it’s just the start of his next chapter as an artist.

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ADA's "UFOLOGY" Presents The Bay Area DJ / Producer's Fascination with UFOs and Aliens

Posted by Billyjam, August 20, 2015 10:36pm | Post a Comment
                                      
  

Vallejo, CA DJ/producer ADA is carrying on the hip-hop production tradition of such groundbreaking Bay Area instrumental hip-hop DJ/producers as Eddie Def, DJ Shadow, Mix Master Mike, and DJ Qbert - whose approach to music reconstruction is rooted in the 80's cut-n-paste/megamix scratch DJ style.  Born Adam Butler, ADA is a talented turntablist and part of the Bay Area's healthy skratch scene, as well as a gifted sound artist; one perpetually crate digging and looking for that perfect sound to sample. Like the DJ/producer pioneers before him, he approaches every new sound (often the least likely) as potential material for some new production. That new production for ADA is his recently published mixed media piece UFOLOGY that is both a video piece (above) and an audio-only production.  ADA, whose day at ArtistWorks includes overseeing QSU (Qbert Skratch University) for one of his key DJ/producer musical heroes, shares Qbert's deep interest in aliens and UFOs - the themes of both of Qbert's albums Wave Twisters and Extraterrestria.

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Weekly Roundup: Deafheaven, Cold Beat, Dirty Ghosts, Gun Outfit

Posted by Billy Gil, August 20, 2015 10:15am | Post a Comment

Deafheaven – “Brought to the Water”

Bay Area doomgazers Deafheaven are back with a new album, and we couldn’t be more excited given the demolishing awesomeness of 2013’s Sunbather album. If you thought they’d ease up and lower their standards for maximum accessibility, think again. “Brought to the Water” is exceedingly brutal, following its churchlike opening. Inhumanly fast beats and strums together sound like pistons on overdrive about to give out. George Clark’s vocals are fried to black, and the song only relents about three-and-a-half minutes in to allow for some heroically melodic guitar lines, making the gorgeous scenic portion of the song that follows that much more of a breath of fresh air. The eight-and-a-half minute song is exquisitely intense; you might need to take it in over multiple listens, but it’s undoubtedly brilliant. New Bermuda is due Oct. 2 on ANTI-.

 

Cold Beat – “Spirals”

One of our favorite young Bay Area artists around these parts is Cold Beat, the new band from Hanna Lew of Grass Widow. Their first album was terrific, as was the new album’s first single, “Cracks.” “Spirals” is less frenetic than that darkwave-ish track but no less beguiling, its layered synths casting perfect angles from which Lew’s vocals kick off and take flight. Into the Air is due Sept. 4 on Crime on the Moon.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: July 1991 Radio Rap Chart Top 40 Proves The Golden Era Was No Joke

Posted by Billyjam, August 18, 2015 09:26pm | Post a Comment


With just a quick glance over the forty records included in the rap/hip-hop chart, courtesy of the defunct Gavin Report radio trade magazine from the week of July 5th 1991, it's evident that this period in the still growing urban music genre was a truly incredible time in hip-hop history with so many soon-to-be classics being recorded and released! These include singles and album tracks, all very popular to this day 24 years later, from such legendary, influential hip-hop acts as De La Soul, Gang Starr, KMD (featuring a young MF Doom), Leaders of The New School, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, EPMD, Main Source, and Brand Nubian. Also included are such hip-hop legends as Big Daddy Kane, Chubb Rock, LL Cool J, Kool Moe Dee, Ice TRodney O & Joe Cooley, Naughty By Nature, 3rd Bass, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Ice Cube protege/female rapper Yo-Yo and the late great NJ producer/rapper Tony D to name but some.

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A Great Time For Weird At SF's Balboa Theatre: Starcrash & Korla

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 18, 2015 08:58pm | Post a Comment

Starcrash

If you've been thinking that you need more weird in your life, then I've got the next two Wednesdays planned Starcrashout for ya. You'll be spending a lot of time at a little theater at the edge of San Francisco's universe, the historic Balboa, which is just blocks from the beach in the fabulously foggy Outer Richmond district. A mysterious entity known only as Super Shangri-La Show (their Facebook page claims only, "Presenting Movies, Music & Magic Shows!") is presenting two screenings that are not to be missed.

On Wednesday, August 18th at 7:30pm, the super low-budget spectacular Starcarsh (aka The Adventures of Stella Star) graces the screen in all of its seedy glory. Released in 1978, this epic stars Marjoe Gortner, Caroline Munro, Christopher Plummer, David Hasselhoff, and Joe Spinell in roles of a lifetime. If you enjoy your space operas populated by robots and scantily clad sexy space amazons, then I'll see you there. Plus, there will be trivia and prizes, so start studying now!

Advanced tickets HERE. Facebook invite HERE.

On the following Wednesday, August 26th, the long-awaited Korla Panditdocumentary about the life of enigmatic Hollywood organist Korla Pandit shows at 7pm. Korla tells the amazing story of this spiritual seeker, television pioneer, and godfather of exotica music who took the world by storm in the 1950s. Who was this man of mystery? What were his origins? What's under the turban? Find out in Korla. One night only, folks! The filmmakers John Turner and Eric Christensen will be there for a live Q&A!

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Fool's Gold Headlines Next L.A. Red Bull Sound Select Show Aug. 27

Posted by Amoebite, August 18, 2015 03:27pm | Post a Comment

red bull sound select fool's gold

Globetrotting L.A. indie rockers Fool's Gold will play the next Red Bull Sound Select show Aug. 27 at the Echoplex. The show is curated by our friends at FLOOD Magazine.

fool's gold amoeba
Fool's Gold live at Amoeba Hollywood in 2011

Tickets are $3 with an RSVP and $12 without at the door. Doors are at 8 p.m., and it’s 18-and-over. An RSVP doesn’t guarantee entrance, so plan to arrive early.

Fool’s Gold began in 2007 as a side project of Luke Top (singer/bassist, also of Foreign Born) and Lewis Pesacov (guitarist). Incorporating elements of African music with Western indie-rock, the band quickly took off, releasing a well-received self-titled first album in 2009, sung entirely in Hebrew, and an English-sung second album, Leave No Trace, in 2011. They’ve played at such venues and festivals as the Hollywood Bowl, Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds and Austin City Limits. In 2015 the band released its third album, Flying Lessons, which continues to refine their aesthetic, throwing disco beats and more synthesizers into the mix. Watch the video for “I’m in Love” below:

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'Clueless' Screens at Hollywood Forever Aug. 28 to Benefit Los Angeles LGBT Center

Posted by Amoebite, August 18, 2015 01:24pm | Post a Comment

clueless screening

Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Out Under the Stars series will screen Amy Heckerling’s ’90s teen classic Clueless on Aug. 28 at Hollywood Forever.

Tickets start at $20 and are available here. Doors are at 7 p.m., and the screening starts at dusk. Picnics on Hollywood Forever’s lawn are encouraged (beer and wine are fine to bring).

Amoeba will be on hand with a booth and tent, featuring the prize wheel. We’ll have gay cinema and rainbow Amoeba T-shirts for sale, so come by and say hello!

The screening is presented by Los Angeles Women’s Network and Young Professionals Council. Proceeds from the event benefit the Los Angeles LGBT Center. For more information on the center’s services, please visit lalgbtcenter.org.

Clueless, starring Alicia Silverstone as a superficial but well-intentioned teen living in Beverly Hills, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. DJ Casey Alva will spin tunes before the screening, and Elisa Donovan (who plays Amber Mariens in the film) will make a special guest appearance. Don’t miss it!

Watch the original Clueless trailer below:

Hollywood Forever is located at 6000 Santa Monica Blvd. in Los Angeles.

New "What's in My Bag?" Episode with Miguel

Posted by Amoebite, August 17, 2015 04:50pm | Post a Comment

San Pedro, CA native Miguel is a Grammy-winning R&B singer, songwriter, and producer. Active in the music community since he was a teenager, Miguel signed a production deal with Drop Squad in 2000. Four years later he signed with Black Ice and began work on his debut album, which was eventually shelved. In 2007, he signed with Jive and recorded All I Want Is You. The album's release was delayed till 2010 due to contract disputes with Black Ice. During this time, Miguel contributed vocals to Blu and Exile's debut collaboration, Below the Heavens, and co-wrote tracks for artists like Jaheim and Usher. Kaleidoscope Dream, Miguel's second album, was released on RCA in 2012. The album debuted at #3 on the Billboard Top 200 within its first week of release, its lead single "Adorn" garnering Miguel's first Grammy award for "Best R&B Song." Watch a killer version of "Adorn" (see below) performed live at Amoeba Hollywood back in 2012.

Miguel WildheartMiguel released his third studio LP, Wildheart, in June 2015 and he stopped by Amoeba Hollywood for a special CD signing. Fans lined up outside the store with Wildheart and entry tickets in hand. While he was here, Miguel took a moment to sit down with our "What's in My Bag?" crew to share his finds from our racks. He began with two films, El Topo and The Holy Mountain, by Chilean cult cinema hero Alejandro Jodorowsky, explaining that he enjoys watching movies on silent while he creates. Miguel also picked up Run the Jewels' second album lauding its savageness as an aspect of hip-hop that he misses. Finally, he chose the deluxe edition of Jamie xx's newest album, In Coloursharing a story about that one time he danced with the xx.

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SFJAZZ Presents Bill Frisell At SF's Grace Cathedral, September 18

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 17, 2015 12:20pm | Post a Comment

Bill Frisell, SFJAZZ Center, Grace Cathedral

Amoeba Music is a proud sponsor of SFJAZZ's solo concert with Bill Frisell at San Francisco's beautiful Grace Cathedral on Friday, September 18th.

Long a master of creating space, Bill Frisell has built a career by manipulating the sound of his guitar to create unexpected sonic landscapes. For his return to Grace Cathedral, the soaring sanctuary and its natural seven-second reverberation will provide an unforgettable acoustic setting that will take Frisell’s musical explorations into new territory.

Free from the confines of a group, Frisell’s singular artistry as an improviser, composer, and radical musical re-interpreter becomes crystal clear. For this performance, Frisell’s choice of material may roam freely from his own compositions and jazz chestnuts by Thelonious Monk to wildly unconventional takes on Bob Dylan, Madonna, and the Americana of Stephen Foster, often utilizing layers of loops, delays, and other electronic effects in concert with Grace Cathedral’s sonorous environment to expand the sonic possibilities even further.

This night is required attendance for all guitar players, and all lovers of jazz at its most unconventional. Get your tickets HERE!

One Album Wonders: The Zodiac

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 17, 2015 11:07am | Post a Comment


Zodiac
 were a studio group who released one album, Cosmic Sounds - Celestial Counterpoint with Words and Music, in May 1967. The members of Zodiac were respected session musicians Bud Shank, Carol Kaye, Cyrus Faryar, Emil RichardsHal Blaine, and Paul Beaver. Each song is devoted to the signs of Chaldean astronomical zodiac. The music was written by Canadian synthesizer pioneer Mort Garson
The spoken word narration was penned by Jacques Wilson and are narrated by Faryar in a voice reminiscent of Jim Morrison's who as part of The Doors, had recorded their debut in 1966 and released it in January 1967 to great acclaim.

The success of The Doors was a primary inspiration for the project. Elektra head Jac Holzman came up with the concept and hired Alex Hassilev, a member of The Limeliters, to produce. Hassilev brought Mort Garson to the project -- the two had just formed a production company together.

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Morton S. "Mort" Garson was born 20 July 1924 in Sain John, Canada and was a Cancer. He moved to New York City where he studied music at the Juilliard School of Music. He worked as an arranger and pianist. After serving in World War II he worked as a session musician. While working on Cosmic Sounds Garson met Robert Moog and as a result featured his Moog synthesizer heavily in the arrangements, played by Paul Beaver. Garson died of renal failure in San Francisco in 2008.

Clifford Everett “Bud” Shank, Jr. was a jazz flutist, saxophonist, and a Gemini. He was born 27 May 1926 in Dayton, Ohio and attended the University of North Carolina between 1944-1946 then moved to California where he studied with Shorty Rogers and played in the bands of Charlie Barnet and Stan Kenton. In the 1960s he primarily worked as a studio musician in Los Angeles. In the 1970s he formed The LA Four. He died on 2 April 2009 in Tucson, Arizona.

Carol Kaye was born Carol Smith on 24 March 1935 in Everett, Washington. She is a bass guitarist and Aries. In the 1950s she played in nightclubs before being paired with Sam Cooke in 1957. As a member of the celebrated Wrecking Crew she was one of the most widely recorded session bassists and has over 10,000 credits. She retired from recording in the 1970s due to arthritis.

Cyrus Faryar was born 26 February 1936 in Tehran and is a Pisces. He was raised in Honolulu, Hawaii and after college operated the Greensleeves coffee house, a haven for beatniks. He moved to Southern California in the 1950s. After Dave Guard quit The Kingston Trio, the two briefly played together in The Whiskeyhill Singers. That group quickly disbanded and returned to Hawaii Faryar co-founded the Modern Folk Quartet in 1962. He released two solo records in the 1970s but worked primarily as a session musician and producer.

Emil Richards (né Emilio Joseph Radocchia) was born 2 September 1932 in Hartford, Connecticut and is a Virgo. He began playing xylophone when he was six and later graduated from the Julius Hartt School of Music. He played in various ensembles in New England and New York before settling in Los Angeles in 1959 where we was in demand as a session player.

Hal Blaine (né Harold Simon Belsky) was born 5 February 1929 in Holyoke, Massachusetts and is an Aquarius. He played drums with several bands before finding steady work as a session musician for Capitol Records as a member of the Wrecking Crew. Though mostly uncredited he recorded the drums on more than 40 number one hits.

Paul Beaver was born in Ohio in 1926. He was a session musician especially associated with the Moog synthesizer which he played on releases by The Byrds and The Monkees. In 1966 he co-founded the electronic pop group Beaver & Krause. In the 1970s, with Ruth White, Beaver co-founded the The Electronic Music Association in the 1970s. Beaver died in 1975. 

*****



The music, as one might expect, is groovy in the extreme. So too is the album art, by Abe Gurvin. The album contains instructions for the the listener, “Must be played in the dark.” The music seems likely to have inspired The Moody Blues’s Days of Future Passed, Louise Huebner's Seduction Through Witchcraft, and the rock musical, Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical. I wonder if the Zodiac Killer owned a copy! 

Garson and Hassilev had planned to do a series of concept albums and they began working on The Sea with Rod McKuen but McKuen left the project and recorded his own version with Anita Kerr and The San Sebastian Strings for Warner Bros. Hassilev produced The Dusk 'Till Dawn Orchestra's Sea Drift, with Garson conducting. Garson and Wilson re-teamed in 1968 for The Wozard Of Iz album, produced by Bernie Krause and released on A&M and a series of twelve follow-up albums; one for each astrological sign. Cosmic Sounds is long out of print on vinyl but was reissued on aluminum compact disc by the Water label in 2002.

*****

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Hip-Hop Rap Up: Dream Day 2015, Swift Rock Open Turntable Memorial, Ray Luv, G-Stack and Nump on New N.W.A Movie

Posted by Billyjam, August 14, 2015 09:46pm | Post a Comment

Bay Area hip-hop artists Ray Luv, G-Stack, and Nump were among those to attend a screening of the brand new N.W.A bio pic Straight Outta Compton that opened in theaters today. Part of a large group day outing to the Century Richmond Hilltop movie-complex that was hosted by local rap distributor RapBay, they checked out the new two and a half hour film on the gangsta rap pioneers that covers a lot of ground, starting with how N.W.A originally came together and tracing their ever controversial career, and that of certain members after they went solo including Ice Cube's solo career and Dr. Dre's Death Row days with Snoop and Pac and up until the formation of Aftermath Records.

The movie, whose four central characters are Eazy, Jerry Heller, Ice Cube and Dre, spends a good deal of time towards its end on the tragic death in 1995 of Eazy-E. "I thought it was a pretty good movie and true to the story. CMT went to see it last night and he said it was good so I had to  see it," said longtime Oakland rapper G-Stack (aka Purple Mane) who first came to fame back in the early 90's as part of the duo The Delinquents who, like N.W.A and Ice Cube, were also signed  to Priority Records. Their dealings with the label and its owner Brian Turner were not as dramatic as those of Ice Cube in the film.


New Vinyl Reissues Out This Week from Red House Painters, The Weeknd & More

Posted by Amoebite, August 14, 2015 12:57pm | Post a Comment

Vinyl Reissues

Want weekly updates about new releases & pre-orders? Subscribe to our brand new vinyl email newsletter.

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 August 14, 2015.

Lower Dens Twin Hand Movement

Lower DensTwin Hand Movement

Ribbon Music reissues the difficult-to-find 2010 debut album from Jana Hunter, Geoff Graham, Abram Sanders and Will Adams. Also reissued on CD.

Orbital vinyl reissues Orbital
Brown Album and Green Album LPs [180gm vinyl]

Seminal English electronica duo Orbital’s debut album and its followup have been reissued as double LPs on 180 gram vinyl.

Straight Outta Compton & Fending Off the FBI & PMRC, It Would Be Such Infighting as Ice Cube's Split That Would Bring Down N.W.A

Posted by Billyjam, August 14, 2015 10:00am | Post a Comment

With their highly-anticipated biopic Straight Outta Compton opening in theaters today, August 14th, you can bet that there's gonna be a whole lot more talk about N.W.A's legacy in the history of hip-hop. The highly influential group's unique new take on raw in-your-face hardcore rap changed the rap game forever.

They first grabbed the attention of the hip-hop world in 1987 with "Boyz-n-the-Hood" and "Dope Man" on Ruthless Records via Macola when it was N.W.A and the Posse. That was when this collective of rappers from South Central LA first made people stop and listen to their unprecedented rap sound - a mix of head-nodding, hard, funky bassline beats and grooves with catchy as hell, no-holds-barred stories about life in the ghetto. Then came their landmark 1988 debut album Straight Outta Compton that gave the new film its title and sporting such soon to be classics as "Gangsta Gangsta," "Fuck Tha Police," "Dopeman (Remix)," and its powerful title track. Extra significant is the fact that Straight Outta Compton was recorded in just six weeks for only $8,000. The indie release with its iconic album cover art, that has been copied and parodied a million times since, would go on to sell three and a half million copies and, more importantly, be instrumental in altering the direction of a genre.

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Weekly Roundup: Wavves, Painted Palms, Kevin Morby, Dirty Ghosts, Earl Sweatshirt, Cold Showers, HEALTH

Posted by Billy Gil, August 13, 2015 10:44am | Post a Comment

Wavves – “Heavy Metal Detox”

Nathan Williams and co. have unveiled another new song from the upcoming fifth Wavves album. “Heavy Metal Detox” is a nervy bit of anxiety-laden power-pop, as Williams gets paranoid about all his bad habits, spends too long on WebMD and asks questions like “Have I lived too long? Why does my head hurt?” V is due Oct. 2, and you can preorder it now on LP and CD.

 

Painted Palms – “Refractor”

The next album by S.F.’s Painted Palms promises a sonic repertoire that includes shades of ’60s psych-pop, ’90s Creation bands and the minimalism of Southern hip hop. What! Well, for now we’ve got “Refractor,” a very good single that displays Painted Palms doing what they do best, which is crafting catchy little electro-pop gems that needle you into submission. Nothing too out-of-reach here, and that’s not a bad thing, especially if you’re needing a connector between Hot Chip and Cut Copy in your party playlist. Horizons is due Sept. 4 on Polyvinyl.

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The Jacka Birthday Tribute Concert with Mob Figaz, Andre Nickatina, Paul Wall, Cellski, Keak Da Sneak, Joe Blow, Mistah F.A.B. + more

Posted by Billyjam, August 12, 2015 04:49pm | Post a Comment

As seen in the new documentary below about The Jacka, the widespread outpouring of grief by fans and peers alike of the NorCal hip-hop artist when he was tragically killed earlier this year, in a still unsolved murder, is an indication of just how widely respected the prolific Pittsburg, CA born rapper truly was. That grief for the beloved Oakland-based artist, who initially came to fame in the '90s via C-BO proteges The Mob Figaz, was especially felt in his native Bay Area. In the months since his untimely death on February 2nd when he was shot and killed in a drive-by in Deep East Oakland, there have been many tributes to the artist including concerts, radio specials, and dedicated DJ mixes. And according to E-Lit at Amoeba Berkeley, Jacka fans old and new alike have been seeking out solo and collaborative releases (including track cameos) by the rapper such as his ever-popular, guest-heavy 2009 album Tear Gas, his series with Berner including last year's Drought Season 2, and the collaborative full-length Highway Robbery with Philly emcee Freeway.

Today, August 12th, is another significant day for the artist born Dominic Newton in 1977 since this would have been his 38th birthday. In honoring this date, tonight at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, will be a most impressive line-up of artists presenting The Jacka Birthday Tribute Concert.  This all-star lineup of artists will include his old crew Mob Figaz, as well many others from the Bay (and beyond too) including Andre Nickatina, Cellski, Keak Da Sneak, Paul Wall, Joe Blow, Mistah F.A.B., Mitchy Slick, Laroo, Traxamillion, Lee Majors, Krondon, Zion I, Erk Tha Jerk, Dubb 20, Street Knowledge, and DJ Drama - many of whom have collaborated with the artist over the years including both Andre Nickatina and Traxamillion, who collaborated on The Jacka track "Glamorous Lifestyle." With so many artists on the one stage, it is likely that their sets will be much shorter than usual concert performances. Tickets for this great line-up tonight are only $20 advanced or $25 at the door. Showtime is 8pm for this all-ages show, but get there early as this could be a sold-out show. More info here.

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A Look Back at the Depeche Mode Riots

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 11, 2015 07:43pm | Post a Comment

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Watts Riots (or Watts Rebellion, depending on your point of view). In that riot, 3,438 Anglenos were arrested, 1,032 were injured, and 34 died. This year (but not today) is also the 25th anniversary of another, less serious uprising, the Depeche Mode Riots, in which five people were treated for injuries.

******


Southern California has hosted its share of riots; there was the San Gabriel Mission Riot in 1785, the Chinese Massacre of 1871, the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943, the Cooper Do-nuts Uprising of 1959, the Sunset Strip Curfew Riots of 1966, the Black Cat Riot of 1967, the Huntington Beach Surf Riot of 1986, the Los Angeles Riots of 1992, the San Bernardino Punk Riot of 2006, the Anaheim Riots of 2012, and the another Huntington Beach Surf Riot in 2013. Some (most) were exacerbated by the authorities, and several were fueled by civil rights aspirations and/or racism. Only one that I know of was fueled by hormones, Anglophila, and ARP-2600s.



In most of the USDepeche Mode were known only as that band who sang “People are People.” 1987’s Music for the Masses only reached no. 35 on the pop charts and of its four singles, non troubled the Top 40. In Southern California, however, Depeche Mode and Music for the Masses were massive and on the final performance of that album's tour they played to an audience of 60,000 fans at the Pasadena Rose Bowl -- there biggest concert ever. The event formed the centerpiece of 101, a concert film by cinéma direct pioneer DA Pennebaker.



Depeche Mode’s follow-up, Violator, was eagerly anticipated by fans who waited three years for its release. The electro-glam single “Personal Jesus” provided a tease when released in 1989 and singlehandedly gave birth to the schaffel subgenere. It cracked the Top 40 which meant Casey Kasem and Rick Dees were obligated to play it on their chart shows, which in turn meant even kids in the heartland heard it emanating from the speakers on their school buses. 


Enjoy the Silence” reached no. 8 in the charts, at that point their highest placing yet. The stylish Anton Corbijn-directed music video was duly played on syndicated Saturday morning video shows and suddenly Depeche Mode were familiar to anyone under 30. I remember a troglodyte stand-up having a bit about how wimpy (gasp!) and pale (the horror!) they were… and probably something to about how music made on electronic rather than electric music isn’t “real” (a surprisingly common view among idiots of the day). Just don’t refer to their music as “progressive techno-pop.”




Violator was released on 20 March 1990. I bought a copy on compact disc from a music store in the Columbia Mall. I heard about the Depeche Mode riots was from a syndicated tabloid “news” show — probably either A Current Affair or Hard Copy. I remember the subtext of the report was along the lines of “How is it possible that so many kids are rioting over a band that I, a journalist, have never heard of?”



The the newscasters’ discredit, though, they probably would’ve had the same reaction had the band in question been U2, INXS, or R.E.M., but none of those stadium filling bands of the era were English and in Anglophile California there weren't just Depeche Mode fanatics but Depeche Mode clones like Cause & Effect and Red Flag. The band's sartorial style, too, was suddenly similar to that of the local “rebel” subculture which was the subject of a series of typically exploitive/concerned Chris Blatchford exposés for Fox Undercover.

Depeche Mode were scheduled to do an in-store signing at the Wherehouse on La Cienega in Beverly Grove, to promote the new album and sign autographs. Fans came from other states and in some cases camped out for four days in oder to catch a glimpse of the band. By the 20th, the line was three kilometers long and contained as many as 17,000 hard core fans. 

After 90 minutes, the LAPD shut down the event out of safety concerns. The boys from Basildon escaped out the back entrance, and hundreds of mounted riot police and police helicopters tried to maintain control. The stores windows were smashed and all hell broke loose. Aside from the five injuries, most of the wounds were of merely disappointment -- something the band and KROQ tried to soothe by giving away a free promotional cassette of an interview conducted by Richard Blade b/w a remix of “Something to Do.”

SEE ALSO: California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Watts, The Cooper Do-Nuts Uprising, and No Enclave -- Exploring English Los Angeles




 *****

Follow me at ericbrightwell.com

Set in the Seventies, New HBO Drama Series "Vinyl" Promises "Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll"

Posted by Billyjam, August 10, 2015 07:25pm | Post a Comment

If the voice-over intro to the trailer below (or rather "teaser") for the forthcoming television series Vinyl reminds you of the Goodfellas monologue by Ray Liotta's character Henry Hill in the iconic crime/gangster film's opening, that's perhaps because the 2016 HBO drama-series is also from Martin Scorsese who directed that popular 1990 film. In this new production Scorsese, along with Mick Jagger and Terence Winter (Boardwalk Empire creator), are the ones behind this new HBO show that is set in the 1970s and delves into all the drama and excesses of the rock and roll lifestyle that was personified in that decadent decade. The cast of this upcoming series is listed as Bobby Cannavale, Olivia Wilde, Ray Romano, Ato Essandoh, Max Casella, P.J. Byrne, J.C. MacKenzie, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Juno Temple, Jack Quaid, Paul Ben-Victor and (Mick's son) James Jagger. Based on this short trailer alone that was uploaded to YouTube in the past week and shows some familiar faces playing key roles (plus the music of the New York Dolls), I am pretty sure that this will be another HBO series worth watching each week, likely on Sunday nights when their best shows first air. For updates and more teases on this series go to the Vinyl Facebook page and the HBO website page dedicated to the show.

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Salute to Sean Price and Digg of U.D.I. - Two Hip-Hop Artists, Each In Their Early 40's, Who Passed Over the Weekend

Posted by Billyjam, August 10, 2015 05:30pm | Post a Comment

The Internet was abuzz over the weekend after news of the sudden and unexpected passing on Saturday morning of two different MC artists on opposite coasts. NYC emcee Sean Price died in his sleep on Saturday morning (August 8th). Also on Saturday morning, San Francisco rapper Digg of U.D.I. fame died of, as yet, unconfirmed causes. Making it more tragic is that both of these hip-hop artists were relatively young men, each only in their early 40s. Born Derrick Reed, Digg (or Dig) was one half of the famed Hunters Point, San Francisco rap duo U.D.I. (Under Da Influence) with Quinton "Big Quint" Morris. They came to fame in the '90s and, along with such acts as 11/5 and Cold World Hustlers, shaped the sound of San Francisco street rap of that era, working with many of the same rappers and producers.

These same collaborating artists/lifelong friends have been taking to social media since Saturday to express their grief and shock about his sudden tragic death. This long list includes producer Mr. Laid for whom the passing was extra profound. Mr. Laid, aka Marvelle Reed, is the deceased rapper's brother and sometime musical collaborator. Along with Chill Black, Race Smith, Reggie Smith, and T.C., he was a producer for U.D.I.'s 1995 debut on DogDay Records. Laid went online yesterday to post a photo along with the lyrics to the song "Brotha Luv" off that DogDay album with such lyrics as "We'll do it again when we get to the other side because that Brotha Luv runs deep."

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New "What's in My Bag?" Episode with Punk Poet John Cooper Clarke

Posted by Amoebite, August 10, 2015 05:29pm | Post a Comment

John Cooper Clarke at Amoeba Hollywood

During the first UK punk movement of the late '70s, John Cooper Clarke emerged as a political poet. He won renown in the Manchester scene as a "punk poet" and his first recordings, including 1977's Innocents EP, were for producer (and Factory Records co-director) Martin Hannett's independent label Rabid. In 1979, he scored his only UK Top 40 hit with "Gimmix! (Play Loud)." His recorded works often include backing music from The Invisible Girls, which featured punk and post-punk luminaries Martin Hannett, Pete Shelley, Steve Hopkins, Bill Nelson, and Paul Burgess.

John Cooper Clarke's 1980 album Snap, Crackle & Bop reached number 26 on the UK album charts and was followed by 1982's Zip Style Method. Over the course of his career, he has shared stages with The Sex Pistols, The Fall, Joy Division, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Buzzcocks, Elvis Costello, and New Order. Cooper Clarke was the subject of the 2012 BBC documentary Evidently... John Cooper Clarke. He continues to perform regularly, and is spending summer 2015 touring the UK, with a fall tour planned with alternative rock band Squeeze. A 3-CD/DVD collection of his work, Anthologia, is out October 2015.

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Recap: Kumail Nanjiani & Emily V Gordon Hosted a Charity Auction at Amoeba Hollywood for the LA LGBT Center

Posted by Amoebite, August 10, 2015 02:11pm | Post a Comment

Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V Gordon at Amoeba Hollywood

Saturday's charity auction was a blast! Our friends Kumail Nanjiani (from Silicon Valley, Portlandia, Adventure Time, The Meltdown with Jonah & Kumail, The Indoor Kids, The X-Files) and Emily V Gordon (author, booker/producer of Meltdown Show, and co-host of Indoor kids) auctioned off all kinds of cool stuff to benefit the Los Angeles LGBT Center and their youth programs. Emily and Kumail are fans and supporters of the LA LGBT Center, which is the world's largest provider of programs and services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. In fact Emily volunteered at the Center when they moved to LA a few years ago, so they were excited and honored to help raise money for the organization. 

It was a muggy afternoon at the record store and the charmingly engaging Emily and Kumail brought the crowds toward the stage with their endearing patter. The vibe was casually hilarious and conversational and Kumail was excellent at coaxing higher bids with a "So – you were happy to spend $50 but really, not $55?! $5 is just toooooo much?"

Emily deadpanned, "If you don't support gay rights, you should probably leave now."

The pair made us all feel proud to be Nerds in our own right. Other than a comic book store (or Comic Con) the record store is the biggest Nerd gathering place of all, and Saturday at Amoeba was its own Nerdfest! :)

There were seriously valuable prizes to score - as well as some silly items - and every bid was matched by Amoeba. Here are just a few highlights from the auction:

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Outside Lands Alternative: "Goat Roaster III Festival" feat. Metallica, A$AP Rocky, Pete Seeger, The Other Band On Earth + more

Posted by Billyjam, August 8, 2015 09:47am | Post a Comment


I knew about the big annual Outside Lands music festival (with Kendrick Lamar, D'Angelo, Sam Smith etc.) happening in the Bay Area this weekend, but, for some reason, until very recently I had not even heard about the Goat Roaster III festival also scheduled for today and tomorrow (August 8th and 9th). Looking for the first time this past week at the poster above for this wonderful alternative Bay Area festival and reading the lineup that includes Metallica, A$AP Rocky, Deerhoof, Primus, Thurston Moore, The Melvins, and Tina Fey DJ'ing I was most intrigued. Now that's something I'd pay to see, I thought as I curiously eyed the poster that stopped me dead in my tracks as I passed it on the sidewalk on Telegraph Ave in Oakland over by the Legionnaire Saloon one recent afternoon. But as I looked for ticket prices and location, neither of which I could find, but noted that the headliner was the relatively unknown The Other Band On Earth I knew something seemed fishy about this "Goat Roaster III" festival. 

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Jazz on Film at the American Cinematheque Aug. 20-23

Posted by Amoebite, August 7, 2015 04:49pm | Post a Comment

Jazz on Film at the Aero Theatre

American Cinematheque presents Jazz on Film, a weekend of classic jazz films Aug. 20-23 at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica.

The first three screenings will feature giveaways of jazz CDs, courtesy of Sony Legacy recordings, and Amoeba gift certificates. Each screening starts at 7:30 p.m.

The series begins with Diana Ross' electrifying performance as Billie Holiday in Lady Sings the Blues Thursday, with an appearance by jazz musician Corky Hale. It continues on Friday with the shorts program Jazz on a Spring Day and Stormy Weather, which features singing from Lena Horne, Fats Waller and Cab Calloway; film noirs Anatomy of a Murder and Odds Against Tomorrow on Saturday; and Latin jazz films Cachao...Como Su Ritmo No Hay Dos, directed by Andy Garcia (who will be there in person for a discussion, time permitting) about original mambo king Cachao, and performance film Calle 54.

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Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood Saturday, Aug. 22

Posted by Amoebite, August 7, 2015 11:31am | Post a Comment

Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood

Our next Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood is Saturday, Aug. 22 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Score some huge deals on music, movies, books and much more just outside the store. 

We'll have huge bargains on the following:

  • $5 band T-shirts
  • Discounted LPs
  • $1 clearance vinyl
  • 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.

Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood

 

Album Picks: Chelsea Wolfe, Mac DeMarco, HEALTH, La Luz, Ultimate Painting

Posted by Billy Gil, August 7, 2015 09:15am | Post a Comment

Chelsea WolfeAbyss

On Abyss, Chelsea Wolfe embraces the industrial music and doom metal that have always lurked as influences and adds them as blackened flourishes to her gothy experimental electro-folk. “Carrion Flowers” writhes slowly on a corroded beat that hits like a door slamming beneath her curling and cooing voice. Groaning guitar noise introduces “Iron Moon” as Wolfe’s entrée into the metal world (save for her celebrated cover of black metal band Burzum’s “Black Spell of Destruction”). The eerie, wiry strings and sludgy power chords of “Dragged Out” become a pummeling wash at the chorus, which is reminiscent of Sunn O))), for whom she’s opened in the past. The album’s opening is bold, but echoes of her past work radiate through Abyss, on its strings, which can be achingly beautiful on tracks like “Maw” but wail like banshees on “Crazy Love,” or on the wavering synths of “After the Fall” (seemingly the only thing left over from some of the synth-driven exercises of her last album, Pain is Beauty). The biggest holdover here, besides an overall grim aesthetic, is Wolfe’s voice, which can sometimes get buried but breaks through the din to emote beautifully on “After the Fall” and “Crazy Love.” Some fans might bristle at the changes she’s made, but most will likely find the heavier sound suits Wolfe’s compositions and voice quite well. Besides being great on its own as an album, Abyss hopefully will add another chink in the armor of the seemingly closed-off and overwhelmingly male world of critically respected, heavy guitar-based music.

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Thizzler On The Roof Further Expands Its Support of Bay Area Hip-Hop With Its Own Music Festival, The First Annual Thizzler Jam

Posted by Billyjam, August 7, 2015 07:07am | Post a Comment

"With the end of the Bay Area Freshmen 10, we wanted to do something big to put a spotlight on the local scene. So we came up with Thizzler Jam as something that could showcase up-and-coming and established Bay Area artists that we believe in, while bringing the community together in one place," said Thizzler On The Roof's Matt Werner (aka Em Dub) late last night. The hard-working, founding member of the rapidly growing multi-media Bay Area hip-hop promotional organization, that he launched just five years ago in an attempt to fill the vacuum left in the wake of the hyphy wave in Bay rap, was talking to the Amoeblog as he took a much needed break from all the planning details for this weekend's ambitious Bay Area hip-hop festival. For a young organization born out of a blog written by Werner, Thizzler On The Roof (a play on the famed musical and a Mac Dre phrase) has been doing incredibly well lately. 

Besides its many accolades such as presenting the aforementioned now defunct Bay Area Freshmen 10 (a respected tastemaker series for pinpointing future Bay rap stars begun by collaborator DJ Amen in 2010), the Oakland-based organization that finds and promotes Bay Area hip-hop artists via its website and other outlets recently celebrated its popular video channel reaching a landmark 100 million views!  Hot on the heels of that announcement comes this weekend's first (hopefully of many) annual Thizzler Jam music festival.

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The Grammy Museum Presents The Drop: Joy Williams Aug. 19

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

joy williams

Amoeba is proud to sponsor folk singer Joy Williams at the Grammy Museum Aug. 19 for their live program "The Drop." She’ll appear for an intimate performance and discussion at the museum’s Clive Davis Theatre, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20.

joy williams venusWilliams came into fame as one half of the popular folk-rock duo The Civil Wars. Along with bandmate John Paul White, the band won four Grammy Awards, including Best Country Duo/Group Performance in 2014 for “From This Valley,” from the band’s self-titled album.

That same year, the band broke up. Since then, Williams has returned to her solo career, which began prior to The Civil Wars, with the releases By Surprise (2002), Genesis (2005) and a number of EPs.

Now the singer/songwriter has released a new album called Venus, which came out in June. Williams collaborates on the album with Michael Einziger and Charlie Peacock, among others. Listen to the upbeat “Woman (Oh Mama)” below:

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Weekly Roundup: Wavves, Tijuana Panthers, n. Lannon, The Intelligence

Posted by Billy Gil, August 6, 2015 02:55pm | Post a Comment

Wavves – “Flamezesz”

Nathan Williams has had a busy year, putting out a split disc with noise-pop compatriots Cloud Nothings, an album from a side project with his brother and others called Spirit Club and a split EP with MNDR with another side project, Sweet Valley. But now we’ll finally get a new Wavves album as well. V is due Oct. 2 on Ghost Ramp/Warner Bros., and he’s unveiled the frantically poppy “Flamezesz” as well as the previously revealed, Elvis Costello-esque “Way Too Much.” V is now up for preorder on LP and CD. Hear it below via Complex.

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of Montreal Publish New Stop Motion Animation Video For Song off "Aureate Gloom"

Posted by Billyjam, August 6, 2015 12:13pm | Post a Comment

Eclectic alt/rock band of Montreal today published the brand new stop-motion animated video (see below) for their song "Last Rites At The Jane Hotel" that is the second track found on their latest ten-song album Aureate Gloom [Note technically their most recent release would be their limited edition, Record Store Day only LP release Snare Lustrous Doomings]. Released a few months back on Polyvinyl Records the latest studio album is the Athens, GA band's thirteenth full-length to date and is currently available from Amoeba in both CD and LP formats.

For the unique new video, that was  directed by Matthew Cooper with graphics/art contributions from Michiko Suzuki, Samuel Pepys and Tom Moglu, the director reportedly carefully constructed it by spending a few months in production, and tediously working on its components that are entirely done in stop-motion animation.  He animated in 2D format first. Meanwhile the pieces in the video are all painted on wood and meticulously cut out to make the resulting video which is a bright sunny series of visuals that perfectly juxtapose the dark lyrical content of the Kevin Barnes penned song.

Record Release for New Z-Man Album "Flea Circus" - A Collaboration with Tahaj The First

Posted by Billyjam, August 5, 2015 06:58pm | Post a Comment

As most hip-hop heads in the Bay (and beyond) already know, San Francisco emcee Z-Man is one of the most talented and unique wordsmiths out there; albeit an underrated artist who ranks up there talent-wise with E-40 when it comes to channeling a brilliant mind into clever wordplay of the English language along with a generous dash of his own slanguage.  Z-Man possesses a gift for unleashing a non-stop flow of clever wordplay that is typically fun, party themed on the surface, but deep on the outset - the kind that demands repeated listens.  The artist is simultaneously a very gifted painter/artist who does most of his own album artwork dating back almost two full decades when he laced up the cover art for his nineties crew 99th Demention's debut tape and such other releases as the cover for 2003's Dope Or Dog Food. which was released via the Hieroglyphics label.    

"Z-Man is definitely one of the Bay Area's most underrated artists," concurred E-Lit at Amoeba Berkeley where whenever Z-Mainey (as he is also known) drops a new release it is in big demand for those who are hip to Z-Man's mic skills, many via his membership of the Gurp City crew or the many other Bay Area hip-hop entities he is down with including One League and Solidarity Records. In fact it is via the Bored Stiff (Equipto, White Mic, etc.) associated label that Z-Man is releasing his brand album with a record release party tonight at the (soon to close) Elbo Room in San Francisco. Entitled Flea Circus the album is a joint collaboration with gifted Bay Area producer Tahaj The First who produced the new GoodWord (of BPos) track that was featured here on the Amoeblog last week and who has showcased his diverse production skills working with such other artists as Otayo Dub and young mic spitter Gigio. For tonight's record release  (so new it has yet to arrive in Amoeba) Tahaj and Z-Man will celebrate with a live set performing tracks from the new album on a bill hosted by the aforementioned Equipto with live performances by Aukwin, Xiomara & the Headband, The People's Tree, and  Murk Sauce (that's Gurp City's Brycon and Eddie K), with Troubleman on the turntables. More info on the Elbo Room show here. And below is Z-Man's video for the track "Cupcakin" from with five years ago and featuring Eddie Def on the cuts.

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BuzzFeed Throwback Theater Presents 'Empire Records' Screening and Q&A Aug. 14

Posted by Amoebite, August 5, 2015 01:28pm | Post a Comment

Empire Records Screening

Join us in celebrating the 20th anniversary of '90s cult classic Empire Records with a free, all-ages outdoor screening and cast/director Q&A at BuzzFeed Motion Pictures in Hollywood.

They'll have raffle prizes from Amoeba and treats for the first 50 people in line. Doors are at 6 p.m, with the Q&A at 7:25 p.m and screening at dusk. RSVP here.

The Q&A will feature stars of the film including Ethan Embry, Robin Tunney, Rory Cochrane, Johnny Whitworth, Coyote Shivers and director Allan Moyle. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Bring a blanket or a chair to sit, and '90s attire is encouraged. 

BuzzFeed Motion Pictures Campus is located at 6322 De Longpre Avenue in Los Angeles.

Watch a trailer of the movie below:

 

 

Exclusive New Prima Donna 'Live at Amoeba' EP + Free Download

Posted by Amoebite, August 5, 2015 12:09pm | Post a Comment

Prima Donna live at Amoeba Hollywood

LA rock band Prima Donna is giving fans a chance to relive their phenomenal live appearance at Amoeba Hollywood with the release of a new Live at Amoeba EP available exclusively on Amoeba.com. Led by Foxboro Hot Tubs live member Kevin Preston (vocals/guitar), the band consists of San Fernando Valley locals Aaron Minton (keys/sax), David S. Field (drums), and “Lights Out” Levine (bass).

Prima Donna Live at Amoeba EP
 
Buy Prima Donna - Live at Amoeba

Prima Donna visited Amoeba recently to celebrate their new album, Nine Lives and Forty-Fives, and we just released their live set as a digital EP in two versions: a regular version (available for download as a full album or as individual tracks) and an uncut version consisting of the entire concert performance as one long track. As a thank you to their fans, Prima Donna are also sharing a live video from the concert, and giving away a free download of "Born Yesterday" recorded live at Amoeba.

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San Francisco's Indie Film Venue The Vortex Room Set To Reopen, But Needs Your Help

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 4, 2015 07:38pm | Post a Comment

The independent San Francisco film venue and archive The Vortex Room was unbelievably cool. Where Vortex Roomelse could you catch a screening of Werewolves On Wheels on 16mm amid space-age bachelor pad decor with 20 of your best friends that you haven't yet met? That was the regular just-another-Thursday sort of a scene at The Vortex. It was an underground haven for serious cinephiliacs and fans of trash culture, the secret clubhouse you always wanted to belong to. You had to sign up on their Facebook group or for their email newsletter to find out about the screenings, live shows, and assorted groovy happenings. They called themselves a "film cult" and an "embassy to the stars," and on multiple occasions hosted Bobby Clark, the actor who played the Gorn on original Star Trek. I find it urgent to point out at this juncture that there hung a velvet painting of Charles Bronson at The Vortex, next to a Flash Gordon pinball machine. 

Unfortunately, as many great and culturally important venues in Late Capitalist San Francisco, The Vortex Vortex Roomwas thwarted by eviction in 2014. Freakazoids like myself were crestfallen. Many of the recent closures have affected me, but none like that of The Vortex (and the upcoming closures of Elbo Room and The Lucky Penny, a fantastically mediocre all-night diner on Geary). Death knell of an era, people. BUT now there is hope again! OR as the mysterious overseers of The Vortex have stated, "like an Egyptian Bennu fusing cosmic essence with a Grecian Phoenix, the Vortex has divined a new location right here still in our fair city of San Francisco!"

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Americana Artist Jackie Greene Comes to the Grammy Museum Aug. 11

Posted by Amoebite, August 4, 2015 06:57pm | Post a Comment

jackie greene

Amoeba is proud to sponsor Jackie Greene at the Grammy Museum Aug. 11 at part of the Americana series of its program "The Drop." He'll appear to discuss his career and new album, Back to Birth (out Aug. 21, now available for preorder), and will perform live at the Clive Davis Theater.

jackie greene back to birth cd lpThe show starts at 8 p.m., and doors are at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20, however, they are currently sold out.

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Mariachi-Metal Hybrid Metalachi Takes the Stage at Levitt Pavillion For Free Show Aug. 14

Posted by Amoebite, August 4, 2015 02:09pm | Post a Comment

Metalachi

Boasting the most unique combination of genres we've heard of in some time, mariachi-metal rockers Metalachi will play at Levitt Pavillion in Los Angeles Friday, August 14 as part of their summer concert series.

The show is free and all-ages. Doors are at 6:30 p.m., and music begins at 8. Come by early, grab a bite from places like Pupusas Y Mas, D's Tacos and Tomski Sausage, and swing by the Amoeba booth to give our Prize Wheel a spin.

Playing versions of Metallica and Black Sabbath songs on trumpets on violins, Metalachi are a must-see for any metal fan or mariachi enthusiast. The band, originally from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, has been featured on Buzzfeed and has performed Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It" on "America's Got Talent." Check out a video of that performance below:

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D.I.T.C.'s Multi-Talented Lord Finesse Discusses Big L, The Music Industry, "Accident Music," His Future Book + more

Posted by Billyjam, August 4, 2015 12:17pm | Post a Comment

Unlike most hip-hop artists, who tend to excel in just one area of the genre, D.I.T.C. (Diggin In The Crates) founding member Lord Finesse is an equally amazing MC, DJ, and producer. Add to that a hella funny guy with a career in stand-up waiting for him if he ever wants it as proven by the funny sharp wit he displays when hosting DMC battles. Recently I caught up with the longtime Bronx born multi-talented hip-hop artist, at one of the Crotona Park Jams where he was just kicking back and enjoying the rich cultural vibe of park jam produced by Tools of War. He would perform at the same event two weeks later.

Being in the Bronx  park brought it all back for Finesse, as it was there as a kid that he got his sharp wit and quick comebacks he says. "Ah man all that comes from snappin' in the park when we were younger, and joking and snappin' all the time. So it's natural for me to just come up off the top. That's why the rhymes, the punchlines, they're designed that way," he said. On the hot topic of hip-hop as a culture with an important history versus rap as merely a commodity, Lord Finesse feels quite strongly. "All that stuff you hear on the radio when they say you could be great at rap and hip-hop without knowing the culture is like you trying to be a doctor without getting a degree," he said. 

In this digital age Lord Finesse contends that too many young artists rely solely on the Internet as their outlet when they need to go out on tour and "be ready to roll up your sleeves" meet the fans and connect with them. "If you think that you are going to throw up your little video on YouTube or put out your mixtape and think you are gonna be straight" that is too limited an approach he stressed. "Then you're not covering all bases." One of those bases traditionally has been   radio airplay but its importance has shifted over the decades compared with when Lord Finesse officially started his career in 1989.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with JD McPherson

Posted by Amoebite, August 3, 2015 06:57pm | Post a Comment

JD McPherson What's In My Bag?

Broken Arrow, Oklahoma native JD McPherson is a roots rocker with a fresh take on early American rock 'n' roll and R&B. As a teenager, he played in a series of punk rock bands before moving toward a more roots-influenced sound with projects like The Poison Okies and The Starkweather Boys. McPherson took a chance and sent a demo recording to Jimmy Sutton, a heavy hitter in Chicago's roots and R&B scene. Sutton then agreed to produce McPherson's 2010 debut album, Signs and Signifierswhich was re-released in 2012 by Rounder Records and reached #47 on Billboard's Rock Albums chart.

Let The Good Times RollIn February 2015, McPherson released his followup, Let the Good Times Roll. Produced by Mark Neill (Los Straitjackets, The Black Keys), the album also features "Bridgebuilder," a track co-written with the Keys' Dan Auerbach. In summer 2015, McPherson performed at the UK's legendary Glastonbury Festival before heading out on a lengthy North American tour.

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Concert Tickets for Sale at Amoeba Hollywood in August 2015

Posted by Amoebite, August 3, 2015 05:47pm | 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:

The Chainsmokers at the Shrine Expo Hall

The Chainsmokers
Shrine Expo Hall
November 27

One Album Wonders: April 16th

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 3, 2015 03:29pm | Post a Comment

April 16th (APRIL 16TH APPRECIATION SOCIETY)


English hard rock/heavy metal band April 16th formed in London in the summer of 1985. The members were Chris Harris (guitar), Dave Russell (vocals), Eric Puffet (bass), John Fisher (drums), and Lawrence Mills (lead guitar). They released just one album, Sleepwalking, in January, 1989. It was recorded at Cherry Studios in Croydon and released by High Dragon Dragons, a subsidiary of Parisian label, Black Dragon Records. The sleeve painting was done by Mike Stick




Sleepwalking garnered the April 16th some attention. Radio 1 invited them to record a session with the late Tommy Vance, influential host of The Friday Rock Show and champion of heavy metal. They also appeared in a feature on ITV's London Weekend Television. There was a review in Kerrang! A second album was tentatively planned for release in 1990 but never saw the light of day. The band broke up in 1991.






*****

Follow me at ericbrightwell.com

Iconic UK Singer/TV Personality Cilla Black Has Died

Posted by Billyjam, August 2, 2015 10:53pm | Post a Comment

Cilla Black's "Anyone Who Had Heart" (1964) is best selling UK record of all time by a female artist

While the average American may only know of Cilla Black, who died today at age 72, as a 1960's British pop star who was associated with the Beatles, in her native Britain she was a national treasure whose career as popular singer and TV personality spanned five full decades. Upon the announcement of her death today, British prime minister David Cameron joined countless others in paying tribute to the OBE recipient for her "significant contribution to public life." Just last year the beloved public figure, known for her easy going ways, constant smile, and natural manner, was the subject of a popular UK TV drama mini series entitled Cilla that focused on her early years as a singer. Those years were when the Liverpool native, born Priscilla White, started out working as a coat check attendant at her famous hometown Cavern Club that is closely associated with fellow Merseyside musicians The Beatles who she was close to.

In fact, it was John Lennon who introduced her to Brian Epstein and convinced the Beatles' manager to audition the young singer. That audition, nicely detailed in the ITV drama series in which the singer was played to perfection by Sheridan Smith, went horribly wrong but did not stop the determined young singer from her goals. The Beatles connection continued with Lennon/McCartney penning her first single "Love Of The Loved" in 1963, which was produced by George Martin. The track did well, entering the top 40, but it would be her next single, 1964's cover of Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "Anyone Who Had a Heart" (a hit in the US for Dionne Warwick), that became a number one hit single and the biggest selling record for a UK female artist of all time. The single would be the first of many Top 10 hits for Cilla Black that included "It's For You," "Alfie" (from the movie Alfie and recorded at Abbey Road Studios), and her cover of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" that went to number 2 on the UK pop charts in 1965.

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"Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck" Screens at SF's Roxie Theater, August 14 - 20

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 2, 2015 07:09pm | Post a Comment

San Francisco's Roxie Theater screens writer/director Brett Morgen’s documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of HeckKurt Cobain: Montage of Heck August 14th through the 20th. On opening night (Friday, August 14th) Brett Morgan will be in attendance for a Q&A at the 7pm showing.

Made with the cooperation of the Kurt Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, and daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck is a raw and visceral journey through his life and provides no-holds-barred access to his archives, his never-before-seen home movies, recordings, artwork, photography, journals, demos, personal archives, family archives, and songbooks. The film features dozens of Nirvana songs and performances as well as previously unheard Cobain originals.

Get your tickets HERE for these very special screenings!