Amoeblog

Free Screening of John Waters' "Hairspray" At San Francisco's McCoppin Plaza

Posted by Billyjam, September 30, 2015 05:04pm | Post a Comment

Tomorrow, Thursday October 1st at 8pm, the folks at SF Indie Fest are hosting a free screening of John Waters' classic Hairspray at San Francisco's  McCoppin Plaza (located at Valencia and McCoppin streets). The 1988 romantic musical comedy's story line is accurately summarized by the Amoeba website as, "with huge hair, a big grin, and all the right moves, Tracy Turnblad (Ricki Lake) becomes the queen of Baltimore's number one TV dance party." The movie that stars such other actors or musicians turned actors as Sonny Bono, Debbie Harry, Jerry Stiller, Ruth Brown, Ric Ocasek, and Pia Zadora is available from Amoeba in BluRay and DVD formats, and you can also find the recommended various artists Hairspray soundtrack that features such artists as The Flares, The Ikettes, and The Ray Bryant Combo who do that killer dance track "The Madison Time" (as heard in movie trailer below). 
 
Renaissance man Waters, whose memorable 2007 Amoeba Hollywood interview can be seen here, earned the tag "the Sultan of Sleaze" for his earlier, far edgier films like Female Trouble and Pink Flamingos (both starring Divine who stars in a total of six Waters films including Hairspray), found mainstream acceptance with his bigger budget 1988 film. Further the movie that introduced to the world to future talk show star Ricki Lake, was turned into the long running Broadway musical Hairspray that in turn was adapted into a second Hairspray film - the 2007 film Hairspray starring John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken and others. Note that the songs from the Broadway musical written by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, that are featured in the 2007 film along with some newer ones by same composers, are featured on the 2007 Hairspray film soundtrack -and are totally different from the 1988 Hairspray movie soundtrack. With food trucks set up the free San Francisco, October 1st screening is at 8pm but people are advised to arrive at least a half hour earlier. More info here.

Continue reading...

Bring Your Pup to 'Strut Your Mutt' Charity 5K on Oct. 10

Posted by Amoebite, September 30, 2015 01:15pm | Post a Comment

strut your mutt

Best Friends Animal Society’s sixth annual Strut Your Mutt 5K event is a fun way to raise money for the local animal welfare group, which helps to provide adoption for homeless pets, spay/neuter services and more.

The walk and 5K run takes place Oct. 10 at Exposition Park in Los Angeles. Registration starts at 7 a.m., with the 5K beginning at 9 a.m.

You’re welcome to bring your dog or walk or jog solo at this 5K, which is followed by a doggie-themed festival featuring pet contests, photos, doggie goodies, activities for dogs and people, food, refreshments and more. Celebrities such as Denise Richards, Michelle Beadle, Natalie Morales and Kristen Renton will all be heading their own fundraising packs at the 5K.

Strut Your Mutt is a national fundraising effort that takes place across 12 cities. Since 2010, it’s raised more than $5.2 million for Best Friends’ animal welfare partners. To get involved, please visit StrutYourMutt.org to donate or start your fundraising team. Come on down to Exposition Park Oct. 10 and join in the fun, get some exercise and donate to a worthy cause all at once!

 

SFJAZZ Collective: Music of Michael Jackson, October 22 - 25

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 29, 2015 07:10pm | Post a Comment

SFJazz Collective

Amoeba Music is proud to sponsor SFJAZZ’s resident all-star ensemble SFJAZZ Collective as they present sparkling new arrangements of music by the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, plus freshly minted compositions by the Collective at SFJAZZ Center from October 22 - 25th.

Jackson’s celebrity burned so brightly it often obscured the brilliance of his musical mind, a situation that’s only grown more pronounced since his death in 2009. The SFJAZZ Collective puts the spotlight back where it belongs, interpreting lesser known gems as well as epochal hits from his diverse and endlessly inventive songbook. Much like their investigation of Stevie Wonder’s musical treasure trove, the Collective brings the same probing intelligence, incisive lyricism, harmonic insight, and rhythmic energy to well-crafted pop tunes as to material conceived for jazz settings.

Inspired by the full breadth of American music, the octet continues to build on a bold decade-long legacy creating original music and exploring the work of nonpareil composers from Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, and Thelonious Monk to Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, Horace Silver, Chick Corea, and Joe Henderson.

Continue reading...

Trailer for "Northern Soul" Movie That Opens in US This Week + Soundtrack

Posted by Billyjam, September 28, 2015 09:24pm | Post a Comment



Billed as the story of a youth culture that changed a generation and influenced songwriters, producers, DJs, and designers for decades to come, the new film Northern Soul, made by photographer/director Elaine Constantine and starring Steve Coogan and Lisa Stansfield, will be opening in select US theaters this Friday (October 2nd), including at Los Feliz 13 in Los Angeles,  the Elmwood in Berkeley, Sundance Cinemas in Seattle, and the Empire 25 in New York City. The film's highly recommended 27 track soundtrack features artists such as Edwin Starr, Don Thomas, and The Tomangoes, and is already available for download through Amoeba at this link.

Continue reading...

The Simpsons Parody of Beatles Album Covers Continues Animated Sitcom's Recurring References To The Fab Four

Posted by Billyjam, September 28, 2015 08:29pm | Post a Comment


In continuation of the long-running animation show's sporadic but recurring references to The Beatles, the opening sequence of last night's (27th) season premiere of The Simpsons, in which Homer and Marge have a trial separation, the creators of the animated Fox TV show featured a series of five Beatles album cover parodies. Those mock album covers (see above and below) included Meet The Simpsons (Meet The Beatles), A Hard D'oh's Night (A Hard Day's Night), Rubber Pants (Rubber Soul), Flabby Road (Abbey Road), and The Yellow Album (Sgt. Peppers), with the latter being an actual Simpsons album cover. The long awaited follow-up to 1990's The Simpsons Sing The Blues, 1998's The Yellow Album on Geffen was the second official album by the cartoon TV show characters. Its title was a play on both Yellow Submarine and the Beatles' self titled 1968 double LP known commonly as The White Album, while its cover was an homage to the frequently parodied 1967 Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which has been copied/parodied dozens upon dozens of times over the years.
 

Continue reading...

New "What's in My Bag?" Episode with Michael Shannon

Posted by Amoebite, September 28, 2015 06:45pm | Post a Comment

Michael Shannon

Michael Shannon is an American actor with an extensive career in film, stage, and television. Born in Kentucky, Shannon became active in the Chicago theatre scene as a young man and he made his 1993 film debut in the comedy, Groundhog Day. Since then, he has appeared in Jesus’ Son, Pearl Harbor, 8 Mile, Vanilla Sky, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Take Shelter, Mud, Man of Steel, and dozens of other films. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work in Revolutionary Road. In his latest film, 99 Homes, out on October 2nd, Shannon stars as a ruthless businessman who evicts a single father from his home.

Shannon has appeared in several well-known television series, including Early Edition, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Delocated and was a series regular on HBO’s critically-acclaimed Boardwalk Empire. He is also the frontman and guitar player for indie folk-rock band, Corporal.

Continue reading...

10 Album Reissues Out This Week on Limited Edition Pink Vinyl

Posted by Amoebite, September 28, 2015 04:51pm | Post a Comment

Ten Bands One Cause Limited Edition Pink Vinyl

This week's Vinyl Tuesday releases are from ten bands who have reissued albums on limited edition pink vinyl to help raise money for Gilda’s Club NYC, an organization named after comedian Gilda Radner that is dedicated to supporting cancer patients and their families. Ten Bands One Cause began during Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October) in 2014, raising $30,000 for Gilda's Club NYC with its limited pink vinyl releases. This year's bands supporting the cause include Run the Jewels, Al Green, Chet Faker, and more. See the complete list below and purchase them from us - while they last.

Between the Buried and me

Between the Buried and Me
Coma Ecliptic [Pink Vinyl]

Progressive rock heroes Between the Buried and Me reissue their seventh studio album, Coma Ecliptic - a concept album about a man stuck in a coma, journeying through his past lives.

Treasure Island Music Festival, October 17-18

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 27, 2015 05:07pm | Post a Comment

Treasure Island Music Festival 2015

That magical musical weekend in the bay known as Treasure Island Music Festival returns for its ninthTreasure Island, 2015 year October 17th & 18th! With no overlapping sets, Bay Area cuisine, and the gorgeous, panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay serving as the festival’s backdrop, Treasure Island Music Festival is like no other festival experience in the U.S. This year's line-up includes performances from FKA Twigs, Deadmau5, The National, Chvrches, Father John Misty, Run The Jewels, and so many more!

Plus Funny or Die will be curating a comedy tent called The Blah Blah Blah with a full lineup of comedians including Tim Heidecker, Jerrod Carmichael, and Jonah Ray, just to name a few.

Tickets are on sale now HERE!

Enter to win a pair of VIP passes to this amazing two-day festival right HERE on Amoeba.com!

Ukrainian Block Party -- Huun-Huur Tu and DakhaBrakha at Royce Hall

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 27, 2015 01:41pm | Post a Comment

We're spoiled for entertainment choices here in Los Angeles; sometimes I feel almost paralyzed by cultural options and end up in an almost catatonic state listening to old episodes of Dragnet. That almost happened the other day, when I was torn between whether to go to KDAY’s Fresh Fest or Center for the Art of Performance's Ukrainian Block Party. South Los Angeles's Westside or the Westside WestsideUCLA territory or USC? The 2 or the 92?

Royce Hall at Sunset
Royce Hall at Sunset by Karan Mehta

Continue reading...

Hip-Hop Rap-Up: New Releases, Bay Area Vibez, Del in Denver, Psalm One, Goodword + Tahaj the First, Stretch & Bobbito + more

Posted by Billyjam, September 26, 2015 11:46am | Post a Comment

New and recent hip-hop album releases to arrive in Amoeba Music's three retail outlets and on the online Amoeba store include Mac Miller's GO:OD A.M. on Warner Brothers, Glasses Malone's GH2: Life Ain't Nuthin' But...  on Blu Division Music, Michigan rapper/filmmaker Prozak's We All Fall Down on the Tech N9ne co-founded Strange Music Inc. record label, and Young Dro's The Reality Show on E1 Music - the first album in two long hip-hop years from the Atlanta artist who released High Times back in October of 2013. Other recent releases include Scarface's Deeply Rooted on BMG from the Geto Boys star, and the popular new joint from Motor City hip-hop favorite son Guilty Simpson, whose latest full-length Detroit Son is released via Peanut Butter Wolf's Stones Throw Records in both CD and vinyl formats as well as a download version of the recommended new 17 track release. Meanwhile, soon-to-drop upcoming releases will include Rhymesayers artist/Chicago femcee Psalm One (aka Hologram Kizzie) whose been on the road recently, including at Riot Fest 2015 in her hometown (see video below) and at Hiero Day earlier this month in Oakland, as pre-promotion for her soon-to-drop P.O.L.Y. album.

Continue reading...

DJ Qbert Interview on Maker Faire NY, new Invisibl Skratch Piklz LP with Shortkut & D-Styles + new Mix Master Mike collaboration

Posted by Billyjam, September 26, 2015 08:44am | Post a Comment


Late yesterday afternoon, within an hour of landing at JFK following a long flight in from Japan where he was at the big Red Bull World DJ Championship week-long event, DJ Qbert showed no signs of jet-lag but was in surprisingly good form as he pulled his compact suitcase across the grass grounds of the New York Hall of Science in Queens where this weekend the World Maker Faire NY 2015 takes place. The hard working, pioneering turntablist who has been the leading ambassador of skratch music for the past two decades, has had one of his busiest years to date. Still satisfying fans' demand to hear and see him perform tracks live from his acclaimed new album Extraterrestria (and its spinoff GalaXXXian), the San Francisco DJ born Richard Quitevis has been on a seemingly non-stop globetrotting trek of concerts and showcase performances. Now, back on US soil this weekend along with his fellow Thud Rumble crew of forward thinking tech gear designers (Yogafrog, Hard Rich, Charles Angeles Jr.), he is at the big Maker Faire NY.

Continue reading...

9 Awesome Albums That Came Out This Week

Posted by Billy Gil, September 25, 2015 06:30pm | Post a Comment

This week was a huge one for new releases. Instead of doing my usual handful of album picks, I’m picking out nine that stand out.

 

Chvrches - Every Open Eye

chvrches every open eye lpScottish trio Chvrches made electro-pop gems splattered with emotion on their beguiling debut. For album No. 2, they just get craftier, creating songs that sound like the soundtrack to your wildest dreams. “Never Ending Circles” opens the album on a note of big, open-armed camaraderie, the kind of drinking song or team anthem that’s nearly impossible to pull off. That sense of momentum carries through song after song. “Leave a Trace” finds frontwoman Lauren Mayberry’s vocals at their strongest — hers is the kind of voice that makes it impossible to feel lonely or sad when you’re listening to it. “Keep You On My Side” is a hi-NRG-inspired jam that calls to mind the best of Erasure or early Depeche Mode with its fluttering synths, but its hard-hitting beat updates the sound for the EDM generation. Every Open Eye doesn’t quite have a song that lands with the same power as “The Mother We Share” or “Gun,” but The Bones of What You Believe was an album of peaks and valleys, whereas this one is a steadier ride, coasting on the band’s increased confidence. It’s life-embracing pop music of the highest order, something we all need from time to time.

Continue reading...

Weekly Roundup: Wavves, James Ferraro, Hazel English, The Mantles, Froth, Gun Outfit

Posted by Billy Gil, September 25, 2015 10:00am | Post a Comment

Wavves – “Pony”

wavvesThe third track we’ve heard from Wavves’ upcoming V is the catchiest of the pack, a lovelorn jam that sneaks soul-searching lyrics into its surging power-pop chords. V is due Oct. 2 on Ghost Ramp/Warner.

 

James Ferraro – “Skid Row”

james ferraroAs avant-R&B artist James Ferraro may have based his last album, the neo-brutalist NYC HELL 3am, on a bleak view of the NYC landscape, the first song off his new album pulls a similar feat with his adopted second home of L.A. “Skid Row” feels like an art-damaged, half-awake reading of our particular version of urban decay, of 7-Elevens and acid rain and hip-hop beats rumbling in the distance and something beautiful (or sinister) lurking in the hallway. Recorded in L.A., Skid Row is due Nov. 13 on Break World.

Continue reading...

New Reissues Out This Week from David Bowie, Queen, Bob Marley & Captain Beefheart

Posted by Amoebite, September 24, 2015 05:40pm | Post a Comment

Reissues Out September 25

Four seminal artists are getting the reissue treatment this week. The works of David Bowie, Queen, Captain Beefheart, and Bob Marley are back and better than ever, with remastered albums, 180 gram vinyl, and some very fancy box sets. Completists and collectors, take note of these soon-to-be essentials, available at Amoeba.

David Bowie, Five Years 1969 – 1973 Box Set and individual album reissues

David Bowie Five Years 1969-1973

With Five Years 1969 – 1973, Parlophone rolls out the first in a series of career-spanning Bowie retrospective box sets. The first installment is a ten-album, twelve-disc (or thirteen-LP) collection featuring remastered versions of David Bowie (aka Space Oddity), The Man Who Sold The World, Hunky Dory, and Pin Ups, reissues of Aladdin Sane and The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, and the first-ever pressing of the 2003 mix of Ziggy Stardust which had previously been available only on DVD. The box set also includes two live albums, plus Re:Call 1, a new comp featuring singles, non-album cuts and b-sides.

Continue reading...

40th Anniversary of Punk and the San Francisco Punk Rock Renaissance Continues

Posted by Billyjam, September 23, 2015 02:13pm | Post a Comment

The 40th anniversary of punk and the San Francisco punk renaissance is being celebrated this week at the San Francisco Public Library, where coincidentally Penelope Houston (The Avengers) works, with a special highlight today care of the San Francisco History Center and Book Arts & Special Collections in association with the Punk Rock Sewing Circle. This afternoon's panel discussion is entitled The Power of the Word: Fanzines and the Pioneering of Punk Rock Journalism, and will discuss the importance (in the pre-Internet age) of punk zines and the key role they played in getting out information to fans fiending for information on the then new cultural movement's soundtrack. Free and open to the public, today's panel moderated by Peter Urban will feature V. Vale (Search and Destroy), Mickey “Creep” (Creep), and Verna and Linda Wilson (Ripper) who will "discuss their experiences as pioneers in the punk rock scene and examine the pivotal function of fanzines" for the years 1975 through 1981. They will examine both the Bay Area’s "first-wave punk rock community as well as focus on the contributions to new music culture made by such periodicals as Sniffin’ Glue (London), Punk (New York), and Slash (Los Angeles.)" Free event, all ages, open to the public today until 430pm at the San Francisco Public Library Main Library - 100 Larkin St, San Francisco, California 94102.
 

Continue reading...

Amoeba's Monterey Jazz Fest 2015 Wrap Up: Trombone Shorty, Nikki Hill, Dianne Reeves & More

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 22, 2015 09:27pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba tent at Monterey Jazz Festival, 2015It's been another amazing year of Jazz in the sun and stellar signings at the Mini Amoeba tent at the 58th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival. We couldn't have asked for a more exciting, action-packed schedule of signings with Jazz luminaries for our fifth year onsite at the prestigious and historic three-day festival.

This year we hosted 17 signings (incuding the surprise visit from The Brothers Comatose) in just three days! We are honored to have had the chance to work with these monster talents - all of them legends or soon-to-be legends - and with the gracious staff of the Monterey Jazz Festival.


On Friday night (September 18) we kicked off our all-star roster with a 9pm signing with pianist Geri Allen who arrived fresh from the Jimmy Lyons Stage where she had just presented “The Erroll Garner Project: Concert by the Sea.” This tribute performance marks the 60th anniversary of the recording of Erroll Garner’s Concert by the Sea.

Geri Allen

Glamorous French vocalist Cyrille Aimee joined us at 9:45pm after a smoldering set at the Night Club and signed her major label debut, It's A Good Day.

Cyrille Aimee

Continue reading...

Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Early 1990's Record Label Promo Postcards [Outkast, Artifacts, Willie D, Insane Poetry, The Legion]

Posted by Billyjam, September 22, 2015 08:16pm | Post a Comment

Above and below are the two sides of the promo postcard from Big Beat Records from 1994 that was part of the Atlantic Records distributed label's big promotional push for The Artifacts' 12" single/maxi-cassette/CD release "Wrong Side Of The Tracks." That five star track was released in advance of and taken off the NJ duo's act's album, that was reissued on vinyl two years ago by Fat Beats, Between A Rock And A Hard Place. The postcard is one of several 1990's promo postcards featured in this Hip-Hop History Amoeblog that includes postcards from two decades ago from the first half of the nineties - the
golden era of rap/hip-hop label promotions. While indeed in the 1980's, record labels were releasing a good deal hip-hop singles (and to a lesser extent hip-hop albums) publicity and promotional departments had not yet been fully developed at most labels. The promotional push for '80's hip-hop, while certainly in existence, was sparse and limited to the select few major labels with rap acts and the larger majority of the field filled with smaller indie record labels. These small often regionalized rap labels typically released 12" singles only and as their respective promo pushes typically targeted retail outlets or their distributors, or the record pools that DJs were members of. The promo/publicity was usually advertisements in select trade publications while their promotional pushes would be aimed at DJs via record pools or sometimes radio stations. By the time 80's ended and 1990's decade began, the marketplace had changed dramatically with promo campaigns directed at retail, radio, and other media (print, video) becoming more commonplace. 

Continue reading...

See Amy Helm at the Grammy Museum Sept. 29

Posted by Amoebite, September 22, 2015 05:10pm | Post a Comment

amy helm

The Grammy Museum presents The Drop: Amy Helm on Sept. 29, sponsored by Amoeba.

Helm will appear in downtown Los Angeles at the Clive Davis Theater for a performance and discussion, hosted by Scott Goldman, VP of the Grammy Foundation. Tickets are $20, and doors are at 7:30 p.m.

amy helm didn't it rain cd

The bluegrass-inspired singer/songwriter comes from an estimable pedigree as the daughter of The Band drummer Levon Helm and singer Libby Titus. She has played with her father in the Levon Helm Band and served as a co-producer on his Grammy-winning 2007 album, Dirt Farmer. Now, Levon Helm is a featured drummer on her debut album, Didn’t It Rain, which was released earlier this year. The album features 12 mostly original songs and includes a version of Sam Cooke’s “Good News.”

Continue reading...

New "What's in My Bag?" Episode with The Walking Dead's Emily Kinney

Posted by Amoebite, September 21, 2015 06:46pm | Post a Comment

Emily Kinney is an American actor and musician, best known for playing Beth Greene on AMC’s The Walking Dead. The Nebraska native began her acting career with performances on The Big C and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Her musical work is showcased on The Walking Dead: AMC Original Soundtrack, Vol. 1, on which she sings with her co-star Lauren Cohan on the track "The Parting Glass."

Emily Kinney This is WarKinney has released three albums: 2011’s Blue Toothbrush, 2013’s Expired Love (reissued in 2014), and her latest, This Is War. After leaving The Walking Dead, she has appeared on Masters of Sex, The Knick, The Flash, The Following and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. To celebrate the release of This Is War, Kinney will be playing the Troubadour in Los Angeles this Wednesday, September 23rd.

Continue reading...

Next Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood Saturday, Sept. 26

Posted by Amoebite, September 21, 2015 05:28pm | Post a Comment

Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood

Our next Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood is Saturday, Sept. 26, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Score some huge deals on music, movies, books and much more just outside the store. Plus, our friends from Hubert's Lemonade will be here with free drinks for our thirsty customers!

We'll have huge bargains on the following:

  • Buy-one-get-one-free CDs (free CD must be of equal or lesser value) 
  • $1 clearance vinyl
  • Fresh 45s at three for $1
  • 45 grab bags
  • 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
  • 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

Brightwell's Top 10: 1897

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 21, 2015 11:07am | Post a Comment
 In 1857, Frenchman Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville patented his invention for recording sound, the phonautograph. Twenty years later, in 1877, someone first realized that his phonautograms could also play back recorded music. It was the same year, coincidentally, that Thomas Edison patented the phonograph and thus the age of recorded music began. In 2015, former Amoebite Matthew Messbarger posted an NME "Best of 1990" on my Facebook timeline and I decided to began reviewing the best songs of each year, from 1877 to the present, in random order.

Continue reading...

Opening Night at Monterey Jazz Fest: Signings With Geri Allen & Cyrille Aimee

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 18, 2015 07:30pm | Post a Comment

It's opening night here at the 58th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival and we are on site with our Mini-Amoeba store! Our spacious tent is bursting with CDs, vinyl, t-shirts, pins, books, and posters. Plus we are hosting amazing signings with many of the stars of this year's festival. We have a brand new schedule of talent signing every day of the festival (September 18 - 20), so check out our line-up below and visit us often.

Tonight we have signings with Geri Allen at 9:00pm and Cyrille Aimee at 9:45pm.

Pianist, composer, bandleader, educator, and Guggenheim Fellow Geri Allen presents the Erroll Garner geri allenProject: Concert by the Sea tonight at 7:30pm on the Jimmy Lyons Stage, marking the 60th anniversary of the recording of Erroll Garner’s Concert by the Sea. Allen is currently Director of the Jazz Studies Department at the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned a master’s degree in ethnomusicology. For the past 30 years she has recorded, performed, and collaborated with some of the most important artists of our time including Ornette Coleman, Ravi Coltrane, George Shirley, Dewey Redman, Jimmy Cobb, Sandra Turner-Barnes, Charles Lloyd, Marcus Belgrave, Betty Carter, Jason Moran, Lizz Wright, Marian McPartland, Roy Brooks, Vijay Iyer, Charlie Haden and Paul Motion, Laurie Anderson, Terri Lynn Carrington and Esperanza Spalding, Hal Wilner, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, Dianne Reeves, Joe Lovano, Dr. Billy Taylor, Carrie Mae Weems, Angelique Kidjo, Mary Wilson and the Supremes, S. Epatha Merkerson, Farah Jasmin Griffin, Howard University's Afro-Blue, and many others.

Continue reading...

Album Picks: Battles, Vision, Robert Forster, Primitive Parts, Ought

Posted by Billy Gil, September 18, 2015 12:16pm | Post a Comment

Battles - La Di Da Di

battles la di da di lpDeconstructionist indie rock band Battles create music that defies expectation. Ian Williams, Dave Konopka and John Stanier interact like triplets, crafting live loops of staccato guitar and synth noise with which Stanier creates mammoth, syncopated live beats, wielding his crash cymbal like Thor’s hammer. Epic opener “The Yabba” stops and starts with chopsocky electronics, swaying guitar swells and a skittering groove, building to an intense climax of all cylinders firing. On “Dot Net,” stuttering Konopka and Williams’ loops seem to communicate with one another like two robots speaking in binary, over which Stanier lays an expressive beat as counterpoint. The muscular groove of “FF Bada” ends up building to an anxious synth melody for one of the album’s most intense moments, while “Summer Simmer” recalls brainy analog electronic groups like The Art of Noise, if they were reborn as trance-inducing drill sergeants. You won’t miss former vocalist Tyondai Braxton on this release, as Battles instead focus all of their energies on their chemistry as a trio, with results that are rarely short of breathtaking. For fans of this kind of innovative, body-awakening music, La Di Da Di is truly an awesome experience.

Continue reading...

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

Posted by Amoebite, September 18, 2015 11:23am | Post a Comment

Liturgy

Liturgy are a black metal/experimental rock band from Brooklyn consisting of Hunter Hunt-Hendrix (vocals, guitar), Bernard Gann (guitar), Greg Fox (drums) and Tyler Dusenbury (bass). Although originally Hunt-Hendrix’s solo project, the band expanded to become a four-piece in 2008. A year later, the band released their first album, Renihilation, on 20 Buck Spin. They signed to Thrill Jockey for their sophomore release, 2011’s Aesthetica.

Liturgy Ark WorkHunt-Hendrix and Gann toured as a duo after the release of their second album. The band’s frontman began considering a more experimental direction for Liturgy, and elements of electronic and experimental music can be heard on their 2015 Thrill Jockey release, The Ark Work. In fall 2015, Liturgy are heading out for a European tour that kicks off in Krakow, Poland.

Hunter Hunt-Hendrix and Tyler Dusenbury stopped by Amoeba Hollywood and sat down with our What's In My Bag? crew to share their finds from our racks. Stationed mostly in the jazz and classical rooms, Hunt-Hendrix and Dusenbury chose a collection of traditional Bulgarian music, a classical biblical music drama, Ethiopian jazz, a cassette by Steven Halpern (described by Hunt-Hendrix as "sort of a New Age OG"), and more.

Continue reading...

Denver's Colorado Crush Street Art Festival: Where Aerosol & Kush Fill The Air and Vibrant Murals Line The Mile High City's Walls

Posted by Billyjam, September 18, 2015 11:01am | Post a Comment


Denver's ever evolving and expanding annual Colorado Crush street art festival, where the distinct odors of kush smoke and aerosol paint fumes fill the air while bright colorful, painstakingly handcrafted art pieces fill the walls of the Mile High City, is back again this week for what promises to be its best year to date - Colorado Crush 2015.

Begun by Robin Munro and others who shared a passion and love for street art as well as for their Colorado capitol city, the outdoor arts event began quietly back in 2009. But in the six years since this now internationally renowned street art festival has blossomed into one of Denver's signature art events, having grown exponentially and winning accolades along the way. Last year it won the 2014 Mayor's Design Award chosen by Denver's Mayor Michael B. Hancock - whose progressive city is unique in how it  embraces street art, even lending financial support, while other cities like New York continue to demonize it, making its creators criminals, and failing to distinguish between the various types of street art.

This year's Colorado Crush, that runs through Sunday September 20th, organizers say will be its "biggest and best" yet with participation up an estimated 50% resulting in even more outdoor art to enjoy, and with more business owners and community members getting involved and donating wall space.

Weekly Roundup: Kelela, Wavves, jennylee, Six Organs of Admittance, Useless Eaters

Posted by Billy Gil, September 18, 2015 08:24am | Post a Comment

Kelela – “Rewind” video

kelelaSome serious Janet vibes from this new Kelela video. A co-production between Kelela, Kingdom and Nugget, the song is not only Kelela’s catchiest yet, it’s her warmest, in which we get the best sense of her as an artist beyond she of incredible production, a rolodex of brilliant co-producers and a velvety smooth voice. It’s on the much-anticipated HALLUCINOGEN EP, due Oct. 9 on Cherry Coffee/Warp.

 

Wavves – “Way Too Much” video

wavvesFor the video to their snappy power-pop gem “Way Too Much,” Nathan Williams and co. play in a basement while a bloody Underground Empire Wrestling match happens. Williams says he’s a big wrestling fan and has viewing parties at his place, but this was something else. “They had a baseball bat with duct tape wrapped around it, and thumbtacks stuck in there, and they were hitting each other in the head with it,” he tells Rolling Stone. Yikes. Watch below, and check out Wavves’ V when it hits Oct. 2.

Continue reading...

DJ Food's Star Wars Audio/Video Megamix

Posted by Billyjam, September 17, 2015 11:43am | Post a Comment

DJ Food - The Tracks Go Off In This Direction from Solid Steel on Vimeo.

Star Wars fans, who are counting down the days to the forthcoming new movie in the franchise Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens opening in theaters on December 18th, will rejoice at the recently published Star Wars themed music/video mix by UK based DJ Food who, via Solid Steel Vimeo, has laced up the above sweet mix entitled "The Tracks Go Off In This Direction" that is packed with appeal to both Star Wars movie fans and hip-hop/cut'n'paste music fans.

The 30 minute megamix by the Ninja Tune artist, that contains a lot of different samples/sound sources, is accurately described by its producer as  a "celebration of audio visual Star Wars spin-offs, made to mark the end of a summer performing at Secret Cinema's production of 'The Empire Strikes Back' in London."  That Secret Cinema show, by the way, ends its run on Sunday, September 27th, with tix for the London, England event available here. Meanwhile the JJ Abrams produced new movie may not open in theaters for another three full months, but you can purchase advance tix now online here. And of course you can shop at Amoeba Music for such Star Wars items as the Star Wars Trilogy DVD set

20 Albums to Look for This Fall

Posted by Billy Gil, September 16, 2015 04:35pm | Post a Comment

20 albums to look for this fall

 

ChvrchesEvery Open Eye

chvrches every open eye lp

Out Sept. 25

The Scottish trio made electro-pop gems splattered with emotion on their beguiling debut. For album No. 2, they’re just getting craftier on songs like the anthemic “Never Ending Circles.”

 

The Dead Weather Dodge & Burn

the dead weather dodge & burn lpOut Sept. 25

Alison Mosshart’s vocals tear down the heavens on the Zeppelin-esque new single “I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)” by The Dead Weather, the supergroup featuring Jack White on drums.

Continue reading...

The Dead Weather Listening Party at Amoeba San Francisco, 9/23

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 16, 2015 03:23pm | Post a Comment

The Dead Weather Listening Party

The new Dead Weather album Dodge and Burn releases on September 25th, but wouldn't you LOVE a chance to hear it before release day? And wouldn't you just maybe like to win some kool prizes too?

Then head over to Amoeba SF for our Dead Weather listening party on Wednesday, September 23rd at 5pm! Hear Dodge and Burn in its entirety and enter to win limited edition Dead Weather prizes!

The Dead Weather

 

Remembering San Francisco MC African Identity

Posted by Billyjam, September 16, 2015 02:26pm | Post a Comment

Late last night Pam the Funkstress posted a sad social media update to her Instagram and Facebook pages with the news that fellow veteran Bay Area hip-hop artist African Identity, who rose to fame in the early nineties with his firebrand mic skills and hardcore political hybrid style, had died yesterday, September 15th, 2015. In addition to her update, including noting how she had just seen him in the past month, Pam posted the above photo of the late great artist for whom no cause of death has yet been announced. The Fillmore, San Francisco emcee named Hunafa, but known to most as African Identity and sometimes as just Identity, will be remembered for such releases as Ransom Note and You Won’t Come To My Funeral. By the time his debut album You Won’t Come To My Funeral was released in 1995 the microphone master was already a respected mainstay on the healthy 1990's Bay Area hip-hop scene - ever since arriving with a bang in 1992 with his acclaimed single, “Let’s Get It On (Pullin That Trigger).”
 
 

In the capacities of hip-hop journalist, radio DJ, and concert producer I worked directly with African Identity on numerous occasions throughout the decade of the nineties and always knew him to be both a good person and most talented (albeit largely underrated) artist, especially when it came to flexing his freestyle skills. In the first half of that decade I would have him as a regular guest on my KUSF hip-hop radio show on the USF campus, not far from where he lived. I remember how listeners really appreciated his improv rhyme skills and how they nominated him as the “number 1 Bay Area freestyler" on the now defunct San Francisco radio station. Meantime over at KMEL African Identity had been nominated as the first runner up in their heated Battle Of The Rappers. With a now eerie sounding reference to his own funeral, the San Francisco artist's debut album, You Won't Come to My Funeral, was a largely slept-on, talent-packed Bay Area hip-hop gem. It featured an impressive roster of his peers as guests that included Pam the Funkstress' group The Coup, Del tha Funke Homosapien (who also did some production), the GLP's JT Tha Bigga Figga, and D-Moe, Shock G of Digital Underground, Young Woo, Psycho Gangsta, Double D, Cisco The Frisco Mack, Blackbook, and Screwface. Produced mostly by Nick Peace but with some additional studio work by Del and J-Mack, the album defined both the Bay Area sound at the time as well as that of the artist himself. In the period right before its mid-nineties release he summed up the richly diverse 14 track album as “enlightening, tantalizing, sensational, provocative, political, Afro-centric, Euro-centric, it’s everything that we are....”.

Continue reading...

Cut Chemist Plays Next L.A. Red Bull Sound Select Show at Del Monte Speakeasy Sept. 24

Posted by Amoebite, September 16, 2015 08:58am | Post a Comment

red bull sound select cut chemist

cut chemistDJ extraordinaire Cut Chemist will headline the next Red Bull Sound Select show in L.A., curated by KCRW.

The starts at 8 p.m., and it’s an 21-and-over show. Entrance is $3 with an RSVP and $12 without at the door. An RSVP doesn’t guarantee you entrance, so plan to arrive early.

L.A.-based Cut Chemist is a member of hip hop group Jurassic 5 and was formerly a member of the band Ozomatli. He has released many DJ mixes, both solo and as collaborations with such artists as DJ Shadow, and released the studio album The Audience’s Listening in 2006. The artist (real name Lucas MacFadden) has also appeared in several films, including DJ documentary Scratch and dramas like Juno and Up in the Air. Watch his episode of “What’s In My Bag?” below:

Continue reading...

Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: When Bay Area Political Rapper Paris Got Dropped By His Record Label Over Content

Posted by Billyjam, September 15, 2015 11:51pm | Post a Comment

25 years ago outspoken San Francisco rapper Paris burst onto the national rap scene with his politically charged debut single for New York's prestigious Tommy Boy Records - "The Devil Made Me Do It." (see the accompanying music video that was banned by MTV at the time). The Devil Made Me Do It was also the title of the politically charged debut album that the single was taken from by the self-described "Black Panther of hip-hop." Continuing that no-holds-barred angry rebellion rap music was Paris' follow album, Sleeping With The Enemy that was slated for a 1992 release on Tommy Boy. But then the record label suddenly dropped him from their roster.  Tommy Boy Records you see was distributed by Warner Brothers who were already getting heat and feeling pressured over Ice-T/Body Count's highly controversial 1992 song "Cop Killer."  So when they got wind of what was to be on the forthcoming Paris album (songs about killing cops - "Coffee, Donuts, & Death" as well as none other than the president himself Dubya's dad - "Bush Killa") you can bet they (and their shareholders) wanted to distance themselves as far as possible from this outspoken and out-of-control militant (in their eyes) Bay Area hip-hop artist. So they sent him packing with a nice payoff check that the artist born Oscar Jackson Jr. took to invest in his own (already established) label Scarface Records. With new offices in Oakland and a locally hired staff from the community, he released the album himself.  And in the years since - and the various distribution deals and all through his own independently owned record labels including Guerrilla Funk Recordings - Paris has not stopped nor ever once toned down his message or caved into pressure to stop speaking what he believes via his music. The latest example is recommended just released latest 2CD album Pistol Politics (also avail as download) that arrived in Amoeba last Friday, September 11th, and features the powerful, anti-police violence single "Night Of The Long Knives." The album, that will be featured here in an upcoming Amoeblog indepth interview with Paris, was the inspiration for this Hip-Hop History Amoeblog on Paris from that includes a selection of rare press and publicity clips from those early 90's years of his first two well publicized albums.

Continue reading...

The Rocking Freddie King

Posted by Joe Goldmark, September 15, 2015 06:30pm | Post a Comment

Freddie King

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

You didn’t have to be named King to be a blues master…but it helped! The three kings of the blues were Freddie King, Bossa Nova BluesAlbert, B.B., and Freddie King. They were all great, but Freddie King rocked the hardest. He was also the only one to have instrumental hits. And, like the others he could also sing the heck out of the blues.

Freddie roughly had two stages to his career. While with King Records (of Freddie King, Let's Hide Awaycourse!) he started having instrumental hits in the early 1960s. Tunes like “Hideaway,” “The Stumble,” “San-Ho-Zay,” “Sen-Sa-Shun,” and “Side Tracked” put him on the map as a major guitar slinger. Then in 1967 he signed with the Atlantic subsidiary, Cotillion Records, and was able to break out of the chitlin’ circuit and into the rock world. He made a couple of interesting albums, then got his major break by signing with Shelter Records. He then made three wonderful albums, taking the blues to new and exciting places with tunes such as “Going Down,” “Palace of the King,” and “Livin’ on the Highway.”

Continue reading...

Brightwell's Top 10: 1968

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 15, 2015 10:54am | Post a Comment
In 1857, Frenchman Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville patented his invention for recording sound, the phonautograph. Twenty years later, in 1877, someone first realized that his phonautograms could also play back recorded music. It was the same year, coincidentally, that Thomas Edison patented the phonograph and thus the age of recorded music began. In 2015, former Amoebite Matthew Messbarger posted an NME "Best of 1990" on my Facebook timeline and I decided to began reviewing the best songs of each year, from 1877 to the present, in random order.

May 1968 riots
May 1968 riots (source unknown)

The closest I came to experiencing 1968 was watching The Wonder Years, the first season of which was set in that year. From what I can tell it was a tumultuous year not just in the fictional Arnold household but throughout much of the world. There was the War in Vietnam, Black Power, Richard Nixon became president, the Prague Spring, Mai 1968, 68er-Bewegung, the Rote Armee Fraktion, the 日本赤軍, the Zodiac Killer, the Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination, the Robert F. Kennedy assassination, and the attempted assassination of Andy Warhol. In music both Red Foley and Frankie Lymon died prematurely; Hair debuted on BroadwayThe Beatles created Apple Records; and a whole lot of good music was released. 


Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Hiero Day 4 Review, Seagram Biopic, RIP Kool DJ AJ, Digg Tribute Compilation + more

Posted by Billyjam, September 14, 2015 11:51pm | Post a Comment

"I live in the Town now. My son goes to school here," LA born emcee Bambu (pictured above) told the early afternoon audience at Hiero Day 4 this past Monday (September 7th) between songs by his political rap group Native Guns from the Imperium Stage - one of several
performance stages simultaneously featuring a rich diverse array of mostly local or Left Coast hip-hop acts. The recently relocated SoCal artist was making the point of how important Oakland had become to him personally as well as how incredibly impressive was this independent and unique urban event that he and his hip-hop group were invited to be a part of.

"No negativity," stressed Bambu gesturing out across the large scale, violence free, annual festival that would again prove the naysayers wrong in that Oakland (aka The Town) can indeed produce a peaceful,  positive, uplifting hip-hop festival with no negativity, just positivity! While the credit for this accomplishment goes to all of the participants - both on stage and off - it primarily goes to the Hieros themselves. As the event's producers, they have crafted something quite amazing out of their combined love of the culture that gave them their careers and the city that gave them their start. Indeed Hiero Day is the ultimate celebration of all things positive about Oakland, CA with the Hieroglyphics collective embodying and embracing the very essence of Oakland in 2015. Not too surprisingly then that former Mayor Jean Quan formally recognized September 3rd (9/3) as Hiero Day two years ago. However the Hieros themselves have done more to uplift The Town than any politician with a skewed agenda ever could!

Continue reading...

The Wild Reeds Live at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Amoebite, September 11, 2015 04:03pm | Post a Comment

The Wild Reeds

LA's own The Wild Reeds are a five-piece band who have evolved their traditional and ethereal folk sound into an Americana force of harmonies and rhythm. The band released their formal debut album Blind and Brave in August 2014, produced by Raymond Richards at Red Rockets Glare Studios. In the past year, they've toured alongside artists such as Noah Gundersen and Israel Nash. They also made appearances at Way Over Yonder Festival, Make Music Pasadena, Echo Park Rising, Claremont Folk Festival, and Lightning in a Bottle.

They're making their way across the country now for the Americana Music Awards showcase in Nashville, TN on September 17th. They'll be back in Los Angeles to support The Bluegrass Situation at The Greek Theater on October 4th and are playing a show at One Colorado in Pasadena on October 10th. Keep an eye on their website for other upcoming shows.

In celebration of the recent LP release of Blind and Brave, The Wild Reeds visited Amoeba Hollywood for a live set and signing. Their fans came out to support the release and some new fans emerged after the band's in-store performance.

Check out "Let No Grief" from The Wild Reeds' set at Amoeba Hollywood in the video below:



Continue reading...

Weekly Roundup: The Intelligence, The Mantles, Julia Holter, Pearl Charles

Posted by Billy Gil, September 11, 2015 02:10pm | Post a Comment

The Intelligence – “Whip My Valet”

the intelligence bandL.A. garage weirdos have a new one on the way called Vintage Future, due Sept. 25 on In the Red. “Whip My Valet” plays a little like Devo on adderall, hurdling through jagged chords as singer Lars Finberg cries unsettlingly, “I think I’m devoid of pleasure and all pain.” Listen via Noisey.

 

 

 

 

The Mantles – “Police My Love”

the mantles bandThe wonderful jangle-pop band The Mantles are releasing a new album called All Odds End on Oct. 16 via Slumberland, and they’ve just unveiled another new song from it, the sonically saturated “Police My Love.” Some echoes of The Clean here with the scuffed-up energy of the Bay Area’s garage scene as the band charges through “Police My Love” like a kid heading down the slide headfirst. Wheeee!

Continue reading...

Album Picks: Low, Cold Beat, Beirut, Shannon & the Clams

Posted by Billy Gil, September 11, 2015 11:38am | Post a Comment

Low Ones & Sixes

low ones sixesSlowcore greats Low add some electronic touches to their spare sound and come out with their best album in years. Mimi Parker’s tender vocals float through space and malfunctioning electronics on haunting opener “Gentle.” Alan Sparhawk leads the band through the Western-tinged “No Comprende,” which ambles along unhurriedly but with a gritty beat and tense, muted guitars. Despite slight changes in the band’s sound, exemplified on the “What Part of Me,” in which Sparhawk and Parker’s vocals waltz over a light synth-pop pulse, Low are still at their best when crafting intensely intimate music that seems to fill huge, empty spaces with overwhelming emotion, such as on the simply stunning “Spanish Translation.” Whether you’re new to Low or just needed a reminder of their greatness, Ones & Sixes does the trick.

 

 

Cold Beat Into the Air

cold beat into the air lpI missed this one last week, but it’s worth mentioning anyway because of how rad it is. Hanna Lew (Grass Widow) releases a second album with her new band, pairing jagged post-punk riffs with coldwave synths and Lew’s floating, layered vocals. The results range from the melodic Blondie-style pop of “Broken Lines” to the pulsating, thrilling “Cracks.” Into the Air works because Lew and co. seem to know what to put into every song, pulling from influences as needed — a little Kraftwerkian rigidity here, a little punk fury there — rather than stuffing it all into every song. As such, Into the Air’s songs stand alone, the towering synth-popper “Spirals” a perfect apotheosis of their various tendencies, and hang together masterfully at the same time.

Continue reading...

#TBT To Earlier Era SF Tech Gentrification Backlash Pt II: Interview with Mission Yuppie Eradication Project's Kevin Keating

Posted by Billyjam, September 10, 2015 04:29pm | Post a Comment

A little over a month ago on a Thursday in late July I ran an Amoeblog piece entitled #TBT To Earlier Era San Francisco Gentrification/Tech Invasion Backlash in which I looked back at a period in recent decades of San Francisco real estate and cultural history when an earlier era of tech fueled gentrification of The City was well underway. It was the late 1990s and while, in contrast to 2015, things may not seem as drastic as they are nowadays it was in retrospect clearly a warning signal of what was to come in 2015 when SF rentals now rival Manhattan's most expensive.  The previous first wave tech invasion was when struggling local musicians and other artists were fleeing San Francisco due to being unable to keep up with increasing housing costs - prompting me at that time to theme and entitle one of the five Amoeba Music Compilations I produced Just Payin' The Rent  because at the time that was about all most artists could at most afford to do (scrape by and barely pay their monthly rent that they hoped didn't get jacked up). It was a period seen by many as the "dot com" invasion of areas South of Market, particularly the Mission District. And it was when a housing rights activist/protester who went by the pseudonym of Nestor Makhno (the name of a pre-Russian revolution era anarchist) operated an ad hoc organization called the Mission Yuppie Eradication Project (MYEP). In 1997 he began a controversial street level poster campaign that involved the sniping of anti-gentrification posters plastered on walls and mailboxes all over the Mission that encouraged fellow longtime residents to slash tires and damage the property of the perceived culprits of that tech invasion of two decades ago. Eight months into his grassroots campaign, that raised the ire of the SFPD and the FBI who he successfully eluded for a long time, he got caught in the act and arrested for "suspicion of making terrorist threats and malicious mischief."

Continue reading...

Show Recap: Diva at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, September 9, 2015 06:51pm | Post a Comment

diva amoeba hollywoodPhotos by Furn Zavala

Dubbed an "inter-dimensional pop star," Diva has long been one of the most intriguing figures in the L.A. post-punk and minimal wave scene. She showed up at Amoeba Hollywood Sept. 8 to perform songs from her latest release, Divinity in Thee, which is full of imaginitive D.I.Y.-style electro pop gems and was just released on Peanut Butter Wolf's Stones Throw imprint Circle Star

Everything about the performance was transportative. She emerged with a bevy of dancers draped in pastel veils that made them seem like spectral brides, or a neu-age version of the fairies from Sleeping Beauty. She engaged the audience in a legit meditation session, using the correct lingo and everything. To my knowledge, that was an Amoeba first. I have to admit I didn't participate or I would've ended up drooling all over the rock clearance section.  

diva divinity in thee lpAfter getting the audience in touch with their "inner divinity," as she calls it, Diva launched into a track with Indian-inspired dance and vocals, stringing together wonderful phrases like "celestial shrapnel" and "cherubim chakras" (I think) over a minimal electronic backbeat. The dancers' movements revealed shimmer in the dancers' dresses, their otherworldly appearances combining with the airy music to give off a feeling that was both alien and strangely soothing.

Continue reading...

Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Del Promotes Hieros & Freestyles in Rare January 1993 KUSF Clip

Posted by Billyjam, September 8, 2015 11:45pm | Post a Comment

Inspired by Hiero Day, I just digitized and uploaded this old short interview and freestyle from Del who was the Hiero crew's lead ambassador back then. Del, who also created that instantly identifiable Hiero logo, introduced most hip-hop ears to the Hieros via his 1991 album I Wish My Brother George Was Here single "Mistadobalina" 12" B-side only track "Burnt" that featured members of the then unknown Oakland extended hip-hop crew, the Hieroglyphics. In this January 10th, 1993 interview the Oakland artist born Teren Delvon Jones takes the shine off himself and makes a point of giving mad love to his fellow crew members by plugging the 1993 debut album releases from both the Hieros' Souls of Mischief and Casual. Note that this was at a time when really not too many knew much about the Heiroglyphics hip-hop collective, who they all were, nor ever guessed how important they would go on to become two plus decades later. It was also fitting and prophetic that Del would focus so much on those two fellow Hiero albums by both Casual and the Souls since, combined with his post-cousin Ice Cube produced (read totally different sounding), they would define the sound of the so-called Hiero Golden Age.

Originally aired on KUSF during a blunted hip-hop special I produced, I invited Del because I knew he liked to smoke and he could play some exclusive tracks from his forthcoming second album No Need For Alarm. But more than promoting his own album that was expected to drop in the coming few months (it did not finally get released by Elektra until late November of that year), Del was more interested in talking about the Souls and Casual whose forthcoming releases he was clearly excited about. In mentioning the '93 Souls debut album '93 Til Infinity, he said it would be out in the coming few months when in fact it did not get released for another eight full months in September of 1993. Meanwhile the Casual album would be released in 1993 in turned out. It was not until the following year, 1994, when Jive would release Casual's debut album Fear Itself. In the brief clip you will hear Del, who I introduced as Del tha Funkee Homosapien (note later spelling would be Del the Funky Homosapien), say how his name is Del and "the group is tha Funkee Homosapien." He then goes on to spread Hiero love and spit a great freestyle. Hear below.

Fall at the Fillmore 2015 Line-Up Announced

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 8, 2015 05:22pm | Post a Comment

Fall at the Fillmore

Amoeba Music and San Francisco’s historic music venue The Fillmore are pleased to announce the annual Fall at the Fillmore concert series. This year's schedule is packed with over 50 shows on sale now, and new shows with Richard Thompson, Two Gallants, Los Lobos, and The Matches on sale this week!

Follow @AmoebaSF on Twitter for Fall at the Fillmore ticket giveaways!

Check out this line-up:

9/10: BLACKALICIOUS with Lifesavas, Raw G, Rev. Shines, Davey D

9/11 & 9/12: THE CALIFORNIA HONEYDROPS

9/17: OLD 97'S with Salim Nourallah

9/18: DAWES

9/19: DESTROYER with Frog Eyes

9/23: BEST COAST with Lovely Bad Things

Continue reading...

Lana Del Rey's 'Honeymoon' For Sale Early At Amoeba Hollywood Sept. 17

Posted by Amoebite, September 8, 2015 04:23pm | Post a Comment

lana del rey honeymoon poster

Sept. 17 is Lana Del Rey Day at Amoeba Hollywood!

lana del rey honeymoon red vinylWe'll have the new Lana Del Rey album, Honeymoon, available for purchase before street date starting at 8 p.m. on Thursday, 9/17. Plus, enjoy an in-store listening party of the album in its entirety and snack on some tasty treats.

You can also pick up a free, exclusive Lana Del Rey pin with purchase and album art posters (while supplies last). You can hang out and pick up the album until the store closes at 11 p.m. on Thursday.

Can't make it out Sept. 17? You can still grab the album online on transparent red vinyl or CD!

So far, Del Rey has revealed the songs "High By the Beach" and "Terence Loves You" and just last week debuted "Music to Watch Boys to," which you can listen to in the video below:

New "What's in My Bag?" Episode with Courtney Barnett

Posted by Amoebite, September 8, 2015 03:21pm | Post a Comment

Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett is an Australian singer-songwriter known for her witty, rambling lyrics and deadpan singing style. After playing with garage/grunge band Rapid Transit and psych/country band Immigrant Union, Barnett founded the label Milk! Records and released her first solo EP, I've Got a Friend called Emily Ferris, in 2012. Her next EP, 2013's How to Carve a Rose into a Carrot, won praise around the world. That year she performed at CMJ and played several European dates, eventually releasing both EPs together as The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas.

Courtney BarnettIn March 2015, Barnett released her debut full-length, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. To promote the album, she performed at SXSW before heading out on a lengthy, globe-spanning tour. Universally critically-acclaimed, the album reached the #4 position on the Australian Albums chart and #20 on the Billboard 200 in the US. Just this month, Barnett was nominated for four Australian Independent Music Awards, including Best Independent Artist and Best Independent Album.

Continue reading...

Join Amoeba at Hollywood Food Fest Sunset & Dine Sept. 24

Posted by Amoebite, September 7, 2015 05:06pm | Post a Comment

sunset dineSunset & Dine features food and drinks from dozens of local vendors on Sept. 24. The food festival takes place at BuzzFeed Motion Pictures from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $25. Children under 12 are free.

We’ll be on hand with our booth, so come by, spin the prize wheel and pick up some swag!

In addition to drink tickets and all the food you can eat, Sunset & Dine will feature a live concert curated by Amoeba Music, featuring reggae-soul band and Stones Throw Records signees The Lions. Their latest album, Soul Riot, is out now. Check out the song "Going Nowhere" for a sample of their classic sound:

 

The fest will feature food, beer and wine from the following participants and more:

Beso
Blue C Sushi
Ciabatta Bar
Cleo at the Redbury
Fabiolus Cucina
The Farmer's Belly
Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop
Kabuki
Shophouse Southeast Asian Kitchen
Los Balcones
McDonald's
33 Taps
Tinhorn Flats
Urban Masala

Continue reading...

One Album Wonders: Armageddon

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 7, 2015 03:46pm | Post a Comment
This week’s One Album Wonder is Armageddon, a short-lived heavy rock band led by Keith Relf which proved to be the singer's last. In Armageddon, Relf was joined by Robert Caldwell (drums), Louis Cennamo (bass guitar), and Martin Pugh (guitar).

*****

Armageddon promo photo

Relf was a noteworthy English singer, guitarist, and harmonica player. He was born 22 March 1943 in Richmond, Surrey and started performing music around 1956. Although severely asthmatic he picked up the harmonica in imitation of his hero, Sonny Boy Williamson. In 1963 he formed The Yardbirds. Although today The Yardbirds seem best remembered for launching the careers of Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page, they were undoubtedly one of the most important of British Invasion bands, responsible along with The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones with introducing countless white teenagers to the black American music which they'd till then ignored and inspiring thousands of them to form rock bands in suburban garages throughout the Anglosphere.

Continue reading...

Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Amoeba Hip-Hop Top 5 Chart, Hiero Day 4 Preview, New Paris Video/Single From Forthcoming "Pistol Politics"

Posted by Billyjam, September 7, 2015 08:09am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top 5 Chart: Week Ending 09:05:15


1. Dr. Dre Compton (Aftermath/Interscope)

2. Eligh 80HRTZ (Legendary/Crowsnest)

3. The Foreign Exchange Tales From the Land of Milk and Honey (Foreign Exchange Music)

4. Z-Man & Tahaj the 1rst "Flea Circus" (Solidarity)

5. Method Man The Meth Lab (Tommy Boy) (avail in LP)

Riding high off the buzz surrounding the new N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton, Dr. Dre's new album Compton  which has been selling extremely well despite some mixed reviews on the long awaited solo album (with many mic guest spots including Kendrick Lamar) from the high profile producer/ entrepreneur who first came to fame via N.W.A all those years ago.  Among the other top five chart entries from Amoeba's Berkeley store above include The Foreign Exchange Tales From the Land of Milk and Honey, Living Legends star Eligh's newest release 80HRTZ, Wu-Tang Clan member Method Man's The Meth Lab that is available from Amoeba in both CD and LP/vinyl formats, and Bay Area power duo of longtime unique emcee Z-Man (recently profiled on the Amoeblog) and producer Tahaj the First. These two Bay talents joined forces on Flea Circus that is available at the San Francisco and Berkeley Amoeba stores and is released via legendary underground San Francisco hip-hop crew Bored Stiff's prolific label Solidarity Records. Note that the SF group's main star Equipto (along with Otayo Dubb) will be among the performers at Hiero Day today - read on for more details. 

Continue reading...

The Song Is The Thing: New Jazz Recommendations From Donnell

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 6, 2015 04:26pm | Post a Comment

By Donnell Hilton

The song is the thing, at least for me. I seek them out, they are treasure. Not all of them, of course, but Duke Ellington, Black Brown And Beigethere are indeed enough to last a lifetime. I’ve always looked to music to bring color to the world when it didn’t seem to have much and also to accompany its brightest moments, hopefully making them that much more luminous. The search for these Bright Moments (thank you Rahsaan Roland Kirk) continues to be a most worthwhile endeavor. Just recently, whilst listening to an album I love -- Duke Ellington’s Black, Brown and Beige (Columbia/Legacy), I found myself drawn to the fifth song on the album and not the fourth. The fourth is one of Ellington’s seminal compositions, “Come Sunday” sung by legendary gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. The fifth song is the same composition with a shorter arrangement and instead of vocals it features one of best Jazz violinists of the ‘40s, Ray Nance. The performance is subtle, beautiful, and yearning…yet another reminder that multiple plays of an album can reveal more over time.

Some songs and albums are so good that they need sharing, especially if I know of someone who would Benjamin Clementine, At Least For Nowenjoy it as much as I. Recently while trolling the internets for music, I stumbled across Benjamin Clementine, a British-born singer, songwriter, poet, and pianist whose voice drew me in immediately. His album At Least for Now (Capitol Records) is all that I hoped it would be and more. After hearing the first single, “Condolence,” I hoped it would be as good and it is. Clementine’s piano playing and vocals, peppered with some strings and percussion, make for a remarkable first outing. The album is populated with line upon line of a poetic sensibility that is passionate, urgent, and revealing, such as “London” with the lyric, “Though my preferred ways are not happening, I won’t under estimate who I am capable of becoming." There are so many good songs: “Adios,” “Nemesis,” “Cornerstone,” “Quiver a Little.” The follow up can’t come soon enough. I’d love to hear him do a rendition of Weill’s “Pirate Jenny.”

Continue reading...

Amoeba Invites San Diego Sellers to Record Round Up

Posted by Amoebite, September 4, 2015 05:42pm | Post a Comment

San Diego Record Roundup

Amoeba Music, the country's biggest and best independent Record Store, is inviting San Diego residents to bring their unwanted LPs, CDs and music collections to our Record Round Up at the King's Inn the weekend of Oct. 23-25.

We're bringing buyers down from our stores in San Francisco and Los Angeles to meet folks in San Diego and create a convenient way for area residents to get top dollar in cash for all resellable items. Sellers may also opt to get even MORE in credit for our stores or shopping on Amoeba.com.

HOW IT WORKS:

Sellers may bring in any amount of CDs or VINYL formats (including LP, 12”, 45s and 78s), and buyers will inspect and evaluate each item, add them all up and make a cash offer! Only items in playable condition will be considered for purchase. Prices offered vary widely based on title and condition and the retail value; see below for a list of most sought after genres**. Valid government-issued I.D. is required for all cash transactions.

Sellers can bring us their stuff anytime between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the first two days of the event and up until 4 p.m. Sunday, and we will happily help you unload and bring in your used vinyl and CDs. We are also open to buying any original music and concert posters. Our buyers are friendly, fast, efficient and will work hard to keep your experience fun and as quick as possible. 

It's EASY to sell your collection. Whether it’s those “hard copies” that are taking space on your shelves, a collection or estate of a family member, or your own personal collection, we can pay you cash on the spot and bring those records back into the world for another generation to enjoy! Skip the three-hour drive to L.A. and liquidate your unwanted records and CDs without leaving town. 

Continue reading...

Album Picks: Widowspeak, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, FIDLAR, Lou Barlow, Dam-Funk, Diane Coffee

Posted by Billy Gil, September 4, 2015 12:19pm | Post a Comment

Widowspeak - All Yours

widowspeak all yours lpWidowspeak’s All Yours is just what we need to cool off during this hot, hot summer. The duo’s tunes are cool and meditative, evoking the feeling of watching a fading sunset over the forested hills of New York’s Hudson Valley, where the band resides. Molly Hamilton’s sweet vocals whisper over Robert Early Thomas’ dusky licks and a touch of organ on the sultry title track. The band mostly keeps things spare and dreamy, but they plug in to give tracks like “Dead Love (So Still)” a little raunch, coming off like the Velvet Underground’s third album reimagined as stoner country music. Elsewhere, Hamilton plays Nancy Sinatra to Thomas’ Lee Hazlewood on the sumptuous “Girls,” generating plenty of heat from a spacious, two-chord jam and Hamilton’s narcotic drawl, while “Borrowed World” sees Thomas take the mic for a spry duet (something the band should consider doing more often). Somehow, All Yours is both Widowspeak’s mellowest album and its most exciting. With a sharp focus on songwriting over ambiance and more room for Hamilton’s vocals to shine, they end up with their best, most distinctive album yet.

Continue reading...

Gifted & Prolific San Francisco Hip-Hop Artist Z-Man Both Raps And Paints, Creating All His Own Original Album Art Work

Posted by Billyjam, September 4, 2015 09:09am | Post a Comment


"There was a time when I asked myself should I draw all the album covers?" said Z-Man, quickly answering his own question. "Fuck it man! I'll do all the album covers - and others too! Yeah, it's a lot of work but it is so gratifying,"  grinned the longtime San Francisco hip-hop artist recently in an Amoeblog interview, while referring back to a previous period in his long, colorful, illustrious and richly varied and prolific career as both a painter and a hip-hop artist.

Some multi-talented rappers such as Lord Finesse or J-Live also DJ and produce their own albums but uniquely talented, but Z-Man has the distinction of painting all of his own album cover art too. And he has been doing so since day one when he hand drew the cassette cover art for his old Daly City based hip-hop crew 99th Demention's album release in 1996.

And ever since that premiere release, that will celebrate its 20 year anniversary next year, Z-Man he has been consistently doing both the music and cover art for his albums (and others) with the most recent examples being for 2014's The Opening Act (with Elon on Gurp City) and his brand new Solidarity Records release "Flea Circus" with producer Tahaj Edwards. In the photo on top  up above Z-Man is seen holding up the album cover's original art that he painted, like most of his work, at his cramped but creative Western Addition district San Francisco home studio in the home where he grew up. I recently stopped by Z-Man's home, in the building where he grew up as a child and has seen the area around him become gentrified.

Continue reading...

Weekly Roundup: Wand, Kelela, Mystic Braves, Tropic of Cancer, Little Wings, Gardens & Villa

Posted by Billy Gil, September 3, 2015 11:08am | Post a Comment

Wand – “Dungeon Dropper”

wand bandEven though the Bay Area’s Wand just released an excellent album in 2015, the heavy psych-poppin’ Golem, they’ve already got another on the way. 1000 Days hits on Sept. 25, and it’s their Drag City debut. We previously heard “Stolen Footsteps,” and now we’ve got “Dungeon Dropper,” a two-minute nimble metallic groover with a thick winding riff that squeezes out psych-rock colors like an anaconda.

 

Kelela – “Rewind”

kelelaL.A. R&B songstress Kelela has a new EP on the way called Hallucinogen, due on her own Cherry Coffee imprint Oct. 9. The song, produced by Kingdom, Nugget and Kelela, is a lot more forthright than those on her excellent Cut 4 Me mixtape, full of freestyle-inspired beats, full-bodied vocals and Janet-esque coquettishness. 

Continue reading...

"Better Call Heller" is the N.W.A "Straight Outta Compton" Biopic Spin-Off Series Just Waiting To Be Made

Posted by Billyjam, September 2, 2015 11:48pm | Post a Comment

Since its release three weeks ago the F. Gary Gray directed N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton has garnered a ton of press and generated newfound interest in not just the subjects of the film but in the whole history of West Coast rap. Everywhere you go over these past days there's some N.W.A related thing unfolding; from Ice Cube and Dr. Dre on the cover of Rolling Stone, to N.W.A getting heavy radio rotation (a quarter century later) on retro/throwback stations such as San Francisco's Q102, to N.W.A themed "Straight Outta Oakland" Oakland Raiders T-shirts (simultaneously bootlegging both the copyrighted logos of the football team and the gangsta rappers) being hawked by the roadside near the Oakland Coliseum this past Sunday when they hosted the Arizona Cardinals.

It is only natural that with all of this interest (read: more profits to be made) that there'll be a sequel movie such as Straight Outta Compton II: The Dr. Dre / Death Row Story. That's just one of many from the film that contained several story arcs that it didn't have time to fully develop in its packed 2 + half hours. In fact knowing Hollywood's love of bankable projects it could easily evolve into a franchise of seemingly never-ending sequels until it fizzles out with the final lackluster installment of Straight Outta Compton XI: Whateva Happened To Yella?

Continue reading...

Concert Tickets For Sale at Amoeba Hollywood in September 2015

Posted by Amoebite, September 2, 2015 01:22pm | 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:

Dom Kennedy at Shrine Expo Hall

Dom Kennedy
Shrine Expo Hall
November 28

Get Discounted Tickets to 'These Paper Bullets' Musical Featuring Music From Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong

Posted by Amoebite, September 2, 2015 09:01am | Post a Comment

these paper bullets musical green day

See the musical "These Paper Bullets!" in Los Angeles at Geffen Playhouse with a special offer from Amoeba. Tickets are $38 (including fees) for any available seat for performances Sept. 17-30, while supplies last. No ticket limit. Use the promo code Billie at checkout.

Labeled “a modish ripoff of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing,” the play features new music by Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong. The play follows four lads from Liverpool who woo the ladies of London with their music but end up in a comedy of errors. The play is written by Pulitzer Prize finalist Rolin Jones and directed by Jackson Gay.

Green Day’s rock opera concept album American Idiot was previously made into a successful play of the same name.

Levitt Pavilion Shows Feature Robben Ford, El Vez and Los Lobos in Mid-September

Posted by Amoebite, September 1, 2015 07:00pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba will be on hand at for three free, all-ages shows at Levitt Pavilion this September. The shows start at 8 p.m., and festivities begin at 6:30 p.m., with food, children’s activities and more. Join us at the Amoeba booth before the shows and spin the prize wheel to win some cool swag.

robben fordFirst up on Sept. 10 is five-time Grammy-nominated musician Robben Ford. The blues, jazz and rock guitarist and songwriter has collaborated with such artists as Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell, George Harrison, Kiss and more. Musician Magazine named Ford one of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of the 2oth Century.” His latest album is called Into the Sun. Watch an album trailer below.

el vezOn Sept. 11, Chicano rocker El Vez takes the stage. Blending Americana and Mexican styles, he channels Elvis Presley but with a Latin twist. His latest release is God Save The King: 25 Years Of El Vez 1988-2013. Watch a feature on El Vez below.

Continue reading...

Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Herm Lewis's Influential Early '90s SF Rap Compilations on His Black Power Productions Label

Posted by Billyjam, September 1, 2015 04:24pm | Post a Comment



Back in 1993, an unknown in the music business named Herm Lewis would have a major impact on San Francisco Bay Area indie street rap with the release of his pioneering San Francisco rap compilation Herm: Trying to Survive In The Ghetto. Featuring such hometown artists as RBL Posse, I.M.P., JT Tha Bigga Figga, Rappin' 4-Tay, Cold World Hustlers, G.R.P., Young Cellski (aka 2Took), and Fly Nate, the compilation was a virtual blueprint of the SF rap music that defined that period in Bay Area hip-hop history. (Scroll down to see the original "one-sheet" for the local Bay rap record that was produced via Oakland's now defunct Music People and distributed via San Rafael's City Hall Records.)

The San Francisco community activist's compilation was bookended by his positive powerful messages of peace and unity, which garnered a lot of attention and resulted in him being invited to give talks at countless community events. The compilation had a slow but major build selling all over the country and had two major effects. Firstly it introduced audiences in faraway places like Detroit and Kansas to an entire unknown subgenre of hip-hop, one that had been mostly a regional sound 'til then. Secondly, its success kick-started the whole Bay Area rap compilation movement that lasted many years.

Continue reading...

Hiromi's The Trio Project at SFJAZZ Center, September 24 - 27

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 1, 2015 01:23pm | Post a Comment

Hiromi, The Trio Project, SFJazz Center

Amoeba Music sponsors four nights with Japanese-born contemporary jazz pianist Hiromi and her Trio Project at SFJAZZ Center, September 24th - 27th.

Hiromi is an utterly original improviser and composer who turns each piece into a thrilling ride. Her powerful Trio Project features electric bass master Anthony Jackson and drummer Simon Phillips, whose resume includes stints with Brian Eno, Jeff Beck, Stanley Clarke, Toto, and The Who. Despite their obvious musical firepower, what’s most impressive about this band isn’t their matchless instrumental technique; it is instead their cohesive group approach in which no instrument is confined to its traditional role.

“I want to treat the three instruments as three pieces of an orchestra, and extend the sound,” says the pianist. She worked with Jackson on her first two albums and had long thought about bringing him into the studio again. After playing several shows as a trio, she knew Phillips was the right drummer for her this incredible trio. “He’s got a very diverse, very unique sound,” Hiromi says. “He has an amazing understanding of all kinds of music, the same as Anthony, and that’s what I was looking for.”

Continue reading...