You can't blame some hip-hop fans for complaining that there's no good new hip-hop being made anymore, provided they are not making a blanket statement about all new hip-hop but merely referring to the bulk of what's popular in new rap & hip-hop these days. You know, the stuff that you hear blasted everywhere and repeated ad-nauseam on commercial radio. But the truth is that, if you take a little time and research to seek it out, there is in fact more good hip-hop being released now than ever. A lot of this new music's production and rhyme delivery pays respect to hip-hop's deep rich past while still pushing the genre forward and sounding new.
Below I have assembled ten tracks from the past few months with accompanying videos (some audio only) of new hip-hop that proves the genre is alive and well. Alongside new hip-hop artists are many longtime acts who are still making quality music - even if not to the same wide an audience as they once commanded. I heard a few old school hip-hop fans comment recently how they didn't realize that Public Enemy (PE) were still around until seeing the longtime revolutionary group's recent live set on Jimmy Kimmel Live. PE never went away and recently released their best album in years - Man Plans God Laughs - that they performed the title track from on JKL (video below) in a "Fight The Power" medley since the song references back to the original from 26 years ago. NorCal legendary duo Blackalicious returned after a decade's absence with a powerful, fan-funded new album Imani, Vol 1 (LP version). Currently on a UK tour, they've been winning accolades for both the album and their performances. The NorCal duo have attracted a whole new wave of fans in recent times due to Daniel Radcliffe who did a rendition of their 1999 ABC tongue-twisting song "Alphabet Aerobics" on The Tonight Show a year ago.
You can't blame some hip-hop fans for complaining that there's no good new hip-hop being made anymore, provided they are not making a blanket statement about all new hip-hop but merely referring to the bulk of what's popular in new rap & hip-hop these days. You know, the stuff that you hear blasted everywhere and repeated ad-nauseam on commercial radio. But the truth is that, if you take a little time and research to seek it out, there is in fact more good hip-hop being released now than ever. A lot of this new music's production and rhyme delivery pays respect to hip-hop's deep rich past while still pushing the genre forward and sounding new.
Ryan Adams’ full-album cover of Taylor Swift’s blockbuster album 1989 is easily derided in concept. What benefit would Adams fans get from the cultish, prolific artist seeking inspiration from a pop singer as young and ubiquitous as Swift? Plenty, it turns out. Adams hasn’t sounded this directed in ages. “Welcome to New York” is perfectly suited to Adams’ Springsteen-ish heartland rock tendencies (think of it as a cousin to his own “New York, New York”). Musically, 1989 is gorgeous; the reverb-rock take on “Style,” mandolins as strings in “Out of the Woods,” chiming Smiths guitars in “Wildest Dreams” and ’80s rock pulse of “All You Had to Do Was Stay” give 1989 an immaculate sheen worthy of its pop predecessor. Some of Swift’s lines and singsongy melodies sound a little silly coming through Adams’ world-weary lips (“Shake It Off’s” “Haters gonna hate”), but he also has a way of revealing not only the darkness underneath most pop lyrics (“you look like my next mistake” sound sad rather than impulsive in “Blank Space”), but the universality of the emotion behind them. Part of the record’s success can be attributed to Adams’ chutzpah; the rest comes from the fact that these were solid hooks and entertaining lyrics to begin with. It’s clear from listening that 1989 is no cash-in; Adams may have been 15 in 1989, when Swift was born, but he uses that to his advantage. The youthful emotion present in these songs still courses through him, and the tinges of regret and nostalgia he adds makes the material all the stronger.
La Sera – Music For Listening To Teaser
Power-pop goddess Katy Goodman is coming out with a new one called Music For Listening To, due March from Polyvinyl. The album seems to follow suit with 2014’s excellent, punk-fueled Hour of the Dawn, recorded in just eight days by none other than Ryan Adams (in between his stints at this year’s Coachella), along with guitarist Todd "Totally Tod" Wisenbaker with drummer Nate Lotz. Read more via Rollingstone, and check out an album teaser below.
Matt Kivel – “Janus”
L.A.-based singer/songwriter Matt Kivel has a new album on the way called Janus, out Feb. 5 on Driftless. His third album finds Kivel teaming with Alasdair Roberts on production duties to record in Roberts’ native Glasgow with local musicians. “Janus” is delicately rendered with Kivel’s creaking voice, fingerpicked acoustic guitar, and light piano and string accompaniment, yet its warm shades mask dark lyrics, as Kivel sings at one point, “I feel nothing close to comfort in you.” Listen via Stereogum.
As anyone who knows E-Lit personally or who caught the Amoeba Berkeley staffer's Halloween-themed KALX radio show this past week can attest, the man is not just a big hip-hop fan. He also has a passion for, and good knowledge of, scary movies (especially 1980's classics of the genre) with a sizable DVD collection of scream-inducing scary films to prove the point. So to help set the tone for this Halloween, I invited E-Lit to draw up two top five lists of scary movies: an all-time favorite five plus a more modern era, recently-released scary movie top five list.
Both top five lists follow below with accompanying movie trailers and links to movie at the Amoeba online store. Or, of course, look for them on DVD or Blu-ray at the Amoeba stores. Among E-Lit's picks is the excellent Night of the Creeps (Fred Dekker's directors cut includes the ending he always wanted) about an alien experiment going wrong...horribly wrong. As noted elsewhere here on Amoeba.com, Dekker's Creeps is wonderful in how it "deftly mixes all sorts of genres while simultaneously having fun with them (the college and all the leading characters are named after famous horror movie directors)."
"Breaking down stereotypes surrounding graffiti and street art" all the while presenting it as a "positive medium of expression by bringing people together through art, music, and fun" was the outlined mission statement for Colorado Crush 2015 Street Art Festival that took place September 19th & 20th in Denver. The excellent annual public arts event in the Mile High City is the collective work of such street art enthusiasts as Jonathan Lamb of Like Minded Productions. Lamb and crew working hard behind the scenes at last month's successful Colorado Crush 2015 can pat themselves on the back for accomplishing their goals.
Following the success of Colorado Crush 2014 (reviewed on Amoeblog), Lamb and the other organizers of this annual aerosol art festival raised the bar even further. This they achieved by inviting such a high caliber of street artists working in varying styles, and by expanding the outdoor art festival's wall space. This year it was again centered in the RiNo arts district of Denver, filling the walls of the long alley that lies in between and parallel to Larimer and Walnut streets for several long colorful blocks. This year they expanded that outdoor gallery to outside that area, providing additional wall space for more artists to paint their vibrant street pieces. The festival was concentrated into the two weekend days but officially began on the Monday when some artists began working on their pieces early. And as at previous Colorado Crush events, organizers rented heavy duty gear to help make the artists job as easy as possible as they tackled high walls.
|Mild High Club|
The inaugural Only in Hollywood Music and Arts Festival will take over the Hollywood area for four days, from Nov. 5-8.
Featuring more than 100 performances, the festival will hit various venues in the area, including Amoeba Hollywood. On Thursday, Nov. 5, we’ll have a live in-store performance with Stones Throw Records signee Mild High Club at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, electro star Egyptian Lover will spin at Amoeba at 7 p.m., in celebration of his new double-vinyl album, 1984. And on Sunday, Nov. 8, we’ll have DJs from Web radio collective Dublab spinning in-store from 2-4 p.m. As always, all of Amoeba’s events are free and all-ages.
Mild High Club is the moniker of Alexander Brettin, whose spacey psych-pop has graced the same stages as like-minded artists such as Ariel Pink, R. Stevie Moore and Silk Rhodes. Check out the Beatlesesque “Windowpane,” taken from the recently-released debut album, Timeline (on LP or CD).
One week ago Sia published another video for her current global pop hit "Alive," which is the lead single off the Australian artist's anticipated next album, This Is Acting. The new album will be comprised of songs Sia originally wrote for other people including "Alive," which, along with Tobias Jesso Jr., she wrote for Adele.
Note that Sia, who has graced the Amoeba Hollywood stage twice over the years with memorable in-store performances in both 2006 and 2008, has not yet announced the release date for her new album. However, the fact that there's only a few release weeks left to the year and that she will be the musical guest on SNL November 7th (with Donald Trump as host) both indicate that it should be within the next few weeks. The new "lyric video" version for "Alive" replaces the original, month-old "audio" version of the same song that, despite having only the one still image, has already racked up almost 11 million YouTube views! After one week online the "Alive" lyric video has attracted 1.4 million views. Over time that number will grow exponentially but it undoubtedly will be eclipsed by the total number of views that the forthcoming third video for the song will likely attract. Coincidentally, earlier today that upcoming official Sia "Alive" music video was given its own promo video (see below). With the tag "Sia - Alive - Trailer (Music Video Coming Soon)" that 25 second ad has garnered 60,000 views since this morning. No doubt when it does get published it will rank up their with the singer's previous video stats. These include Sia's much talked about "Electric Heart (feat Shia LeBeouf and Maddie Ziegler)" that, since posted at the beginning of this year, has 425 million views. Meanwhile, Sia's video for "Chandelier" off last year's 1000 Forms Of Fear has gotten 948 million views to date!
30 Days in LA's mural as seen on the side of Amoeba Music
Expect four stages of music on three floors, curated by the folks at Fake Shore Drive, Scoremore, Sub Pop and Afropunk. Along with Amoeba, Record Store Day, The Record Parlour, Mobile Vinyl Recorders and Origami Vinyl will be there with pop-up stores and exhibitions.
DJ sets will come from Tuxedo, Ishmael Butler from Shabazz Palaces, Kyle Thomas from King Tuff, DJ Drama, Sonny Digital, DJ Dahi, DJ Mr. Rogers, Jimmy Tamborello from The Postal Service, Jonathan Snipes from clipping. and Ali Shaheed Muhammad from A Tribe Called Quest. Bring your dancing shoes! RSVP to Wax on Wax here.
Head to the Vinyl Beat website to check out extensive LP label guides and wild cover galleries!
San Francisco rocker Chuck Prophet cut his musical teeth in the band Green On Red before embarking on a solo career in the early 1990s. Since then he’s recorded a dozen of his own unique albums. Although he’s had much critical success, he still flies pretty much under the radar as far as the masses are concerned. Luckily, he’s undeterred, and keeps releasing wonderful albums. He did have some commercial success when he scored a Top 40 hit a few years ago with “Summertime Thing,” a perfect summer anthem from his album No Other Love. His latest album Night Surfer is out now on Yep Roc.
Chuck’s songs are well written and hooky, and his production is clean and interesting. His lyrics are unusual and his “blue-eyed soul” vocals are strong and distinctive. We’re fortunate to have him in the local scene when he’s not touring the world. A shout out to Stephanie Finch, Chuck’s wife, who’s been a mainstay in the band on organ and vocals.
"Summertime Thing" – From No Other Love
Swedish heavy metal band Ghost are known for their theatrical appearance onstage and their anonymity offstage. Fronted by Papa Emeritus, an "anti-Pope" figure in skull makeup and cardinal robes, and backed by masked members who call themselves Nameless Ghouls, the band formed in 2006. Their debut full-length came in 2010 with the release of Opus Eponymous.
The followup came in 2013 with Infestissumam, which generated controversy when it was recorded in Nashville, TN, due to the album's satanic lyrical content. Ghost's third album, Meliora, was released in August 2015 and debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200 chart. You can watch Ghost make their U.S. television debut this Friday, October 30 with a live performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
In support of Meliora, Ghost recently performed a special acoustic set at Amoeba Hollywood. Over 700 fans showed up for the free show and a lucky 300 were also able to meet the band and get the new record signed. Check out the video below featuring some of the amazing, loyal fans who turned up early for the in-store performance. A Nameless Ghoul from Ghost took some time to talk with our What's in My Bag? crew about some of his favorite albums by KISS and Candlemass, and give us some insight into the black metal concepts in Ghost.
At one of the several jobs at which I work we’ve started listening to a Halloween playlist from Spotify or Pandora and like all of those pre-fab playlists it sucks. There aren’t that many explicitly Halloween songs so whomever programed it resorted to tossing in things like Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf" because what's scarier than a hungry Brummie? The Searchers’ “Love Potion No. 9” is not scary and although it's a bit mad, neither is Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’s “I Put a Spell on You” -- both apparently chosen because, you know, potions and spells and such. That sort of thinking is also why David Seville’s deeply annoying (but not scary) “Witch Doctor” now haunts every facet of my brain. Basically this playlist is 90% the kind of stuff collected by Dr. Retarded, novelty record collector and chief head of surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Amoeba Music and CIIS Public Programs & Performances present An Intimate Evening with Matisyahu on Friday, November 6th at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco.
In celebration of the 10th anniversary of his breakthrough album, Live at Stubb's, Matisyahu has taken a new look at the music that first made his reputation with his new release Live at Stubb's III: A 10-Year Journey. In two stripped-back sit-down shows in March of 2015, Matisyahu performed new arrangements of his early reggae hits from the original album, along with a selection of later favorites up through Akeda. This tour reconnects Matisyahu with long-time musical collaborators and friends from his early touring days, including Live at Stubb's guitarist Aaron Dugan.
Matisyahu and his band will present an evening of stripped-back arrangements highlighting the music that launched his career while taking fans of all ages on a journey through his evolution.
Get your tickets now for this for this very special event.
Joanna Newsom’s first album in five years finds the musician lending her ornate songcraft and magical imagery to an album that at its plainest, examines relationships and the effects of the passage of time. “Anecdotes” begins the album with woodland noise and shortly reintroduces Newsom’s piano, harp and uncommon croon, her lyrics painting slices of life of a soldier laying land mines and returning home, summing up the sentiment it portrays with the line, “Anecdotes cannot say what Time may do.” Newsom’s lyrics are as inscrutable as ever—“Sapokanikan” refers to a Native American village that once stood where Greenwich Village now lies and references Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem about a fallen Egyptian pharaoh, “Ozymandias”—but they’re in service of her central theme, as she sings, “the records they left are cryptic at best, lost in obsolescence.” The arrangements by Newsom, Nico Muhly, Ryan Francesconi and Dave Longstreth (Dirty Projectors) tickle the songs with orchestral brushes and lend rock pulse to songs like “Leaving the City.” Shorter songs appear, like “The Things I Say,” a downtrodden, countrified piano ditty with lyrics both direct (“I’m ashamed of half the things I say”) and fanciful (“When the sky goes thinkin’ Paris, France, do you think of the girl who used to dance when you’d frame the movement within your hands”) that ends in a rain of beaming guitars. These serve to as breathers before sinking into epics like “Divers,” which gives Newsom’s harp and malleable voice room to roam as she intones, “How do you choose your life? How do you choose the time you must exhale and kick and writhe?” Like Newsom’s previous work, Divers demands close attention. Her albums are the antithesis of instant gratification, which is perversely likely why she’s become so popular as an out-of-time balladeer despite sounding more medieval than millennial—her songs beg that you drop what you’re doing, lest you miss one of her witticisms or whimsies. It’s a strangely soothing effect, harkening back to the time of following lyric sheets and sitting to listen to music as a solitary activity. Despite being seeped in melancholia, Divers ends on the somewhat positive note of “Time As a Symptom.” Newsom cries about the “joy of life” as owls hoot and birds chirp in the background, declaring, “the moment of your greatest joys sustains.” Divers may be concerned with the fleeting nature of time, but it’s a convincing bid at artistic permanence.
W-X – “Brazilian Worm Band”
Like his onetime bandmate in Hair, Ty Segall, Tim Presley doesn’t seem to sleep. Between his loads of great albums as White Fence, who released a new album last year, and his new collaboration with Cate Le Bon, DRINKS, which released an album earlier this year, you’d think he wouldn’t have time for another project. But here we have W-X, a new solo project from Presley. From the sounds of this first song, he’s interested here in making outsider noise pop. “Brazilian Worm Band” sounds like a demented toy factory on the fritz, as broken-down vintage moogs run amok. Great stuff. W-X is due Nov. 6 on Castle Face.
Mick Rock’s massive tome of a photo book on David Bowie is now for sale at Amoeba Music.
The tall,16-pound book features a hologram cover and more than 300 pages of photographs. It's limited to only 1,972 copies, signed by Rock and Bowie. Look for the book in the display case next to the counters at Amoeba Hollywood!
Rock famously shot many musicians during the 1970s, from Lou Reed to Queen and Blondie’s Debbie Harry. Between 1972 and 1973, Rock was Bowie’s official photographer, while Bowie was taking the world by storm with his celebrated album Hunky Dory and his emerging Ziggy Stardust persona.
The book includes pictures for press and album jackets along with intimate backstage photos, around 50 percent of which are said to be unseen by the public.
The book sale coincides with the exhibition “Mick Rock: Shooting for Stardust. The Rise of David Bowie & Co.” at TASCHEN Gallery, which is located at 8070 Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles. The exhibit runs through Oct. 30.
Rest in peace to Bay Area hip-hop producer Deon Evans (aka Big D, aka Big D The Impossible). He was known widely for his production work with Tupac Shakur in crafting such timeless 2Pac tracks as "If My Homie Calls" and "Brenda's Got A Baby" (co-produced with Underground Railroad), which was the lead first single off the rap icon's 1991 debut album 2Pacalypse Now. I got the sad news earlier this morning from longtime Oaklander Craig "C-Note" White, whose credits include working with Mac Mill back in the day when he was a part of the tight-knit East Bay rap scene along his old friend Deon Evans. This morning C-Note confirmed that Evans, who reportedly had a history of kidney and heart related health problems, had passed away sometime overnight. Even more tragic is the fact that the multi-platinum hip-hop producer was still a relatively young man of 45 years old.
Back in the day, Deon Evans was part of the East Bay hip-hop fabric and working with other artists such as Berkeley rapper/producer Clever Jeff. He also contributed to Digital Underground and was a part of the extended family. DJ Fuze and Money B used to live a couple of blocks away and were always hanging out. His older brother James ran with the DU crew. The two appear in Digital Underground's "DooWutchYaLike" video. Pac was a part of that musical family too, and it is in hip-hop history books that Deon Evans' legacy will be mostly forever interlocked with Tupac's name. The list of 2Pac classics Evans produced includes "Changes," "Ghetto Gospel," "Papa'z Song," and "Point The Finga" with the latter two both off Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. On that 1993 2Pac album Evans went by his Big D the Impossible handle, and under it he also co-produced with Pac the album track "Something 2 Die 4."
I just unearthed and uploaded a rare 1996 Mac Dre interview from Lompoc Federal Penitentiary that I conducted with the late great iconic Bay Area rap figure over the phone 19 years ago. In the interview, that was for both magazine and radio stories at the time, Mac Dre opens up about how he got a five-year sentence and how the police had a vendetta against him. The interview was done a full four years after he initially got arrested and incarcerated, and it was a little over four months from when he would finally be released (seven and half months early for good behavior) from prison on August 2, 1996.
On the topic of dealing with the police, Mac Dre, speaking from first hand experience, advised, "stay out of their way" because they present a "no win situation" in that "you can't win cos they'll send you up in here for nothin.'"
As for how he got the five year sentence? "March 26th, 1992, one of my homeboys called me up and asked me if I wanted to ride to Fresno with them," he recalled adding that it was coincidence because just two weeks prior to this he had gone to Fresno to perform in a concert with Ice Cube, WC and The Maad Circle, Big Daddy Kane, and others. While there he had met some girls that he would go back to visit upon this follow up trip with his friends. Fast forward to the drive home on the freeway from Fresno to Vallejo when the car Mac Dre and his friends were in was surrounded and pulled over by a collective of law enforcement departments. "We got pulled over by the FBI, Fresno police [and] Vallejo police, and they took us in and charged me with conspiracy to rob a bank," recalled the artist born Andre Hicks who would be 45 years-old if he were still alive today. Born on July 5, 1970, in Oakland (but raised in the North Bay town of Vallejo in the infamous Crest Side so often referenced in his music), Mac Dre was shot and killed in 2004 in Kansas City.
Nonprofit organization Give a Beat is launching with a free event featuring live music, a DJ workshop and more.
A Positive Spin: Remixed takes place Saturday, Oct. 24 at Impact HUB LA in Downtown Los Angeles. It begins with an electronic music production/DJ workshop for youth, featuring gear and instruction from Scratch DJ Academy, from 3-6 p.m. Registration for the workshop is free.
Immediately following from 6-9 p.m. will be a live performance from Pleasuremaker (aka Joey McGuire) of Afrolicious along with Sandra Izsadore, who was Fela Kuti’s muse and mentor, and Gabriel ‘Gato’ Ferrer on percussion. There will also be presentations from Alex Simpson, associate director of The Innocence Project, and exonerated football player Brian Banks.
Our childhoods are littered with films that, for whatever reason, were in many ways equally as terrifying as their R-rated counterparts. Around Halloween, it’s always fun to revisit these movies and think about the times when Disney took a dark turn and parents were a lot more lax about what they let their kids watch. Here are 10 creepy cult movies, box office bombs and genuine hits that were probably a lot scarier than they needed to be.
The Adventures of Mark Twain (1985)
Claymation already is and always has been disturbing to me. I couldn’t figure out what was going on with Gumby, and I didn’t want to know. The Adventures of Mark Twain doesn’t seem that creepy on the surface, telling the story of such beloved characters as Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn as they meet Twain himself, who’s on an airship to meet up with Halley’s Comet (which was a big deal in 1985 when this was released, as the comet became visible to the naked eye the following year in a once-in-a-lifetime event). So far, so good. But anyone who saw the film as a child knows there’s a disturbing scene based in part on Twain’s story “The Chronicle of Young Satan” in which a headless suit of armor carrying a mask claims to be the devil himself and capable of easily wiping out humans (“People are of no value,” is his existential response to smooshing some clay people). It’s always good to make sure that children learn life is futile early on. Read an interview with director Will Vinton here.
Often hailed as "the Mexican Madonna," pop star Gloria Trevi has sold over 20 million records and is known for her provocative, sometimes sociopolitical, chart toppers. Trevi's career began in 1985 when she was a member of the girl group Boquitas Pintadas. After the group disbanded a few years later, she teamed up with Sergio Andrade to produce her solo debut, 1989's ¿Que Hago Aqui?. The album gave Trevi her first number one hit, "Dr. Psiquiatra."
Her followup, Tu Angel de la Guarda, was an even bigger success, charting at #4 on Billboard's Latin Pop Albums chart. 1992's Me Siento Tan Sola continued Trevi's reign on top of the charts. A prominent cultural voice in Spanish-language pop music, Trevi has steadily released albums for two and a half decades, with her most recent full-length, El Amor, out just this August .
In support of El Amor's release, Gloria Trevi stopped by Amoeba Hollywood for an album signing. Loyal fans dressed to the nines and lined up outside the store, thrilled to meet her. Trevi also sat down with our What's in My Bag? crew to share her love of horror films and psychological thrillers. She chose films like Pan's Labyrinth and Silence of the Lambs, as well as iconic albums by Michael Jackson and Adele.
Sunday, at the early hour of 7:45am on the morning after the first of two sold-out shows for the band Twenty One Pilots at Oakland's Fox Theater, there was already a long line of diehard fans camped outside the Uptown district concert hall. That line, which snaked down along the sidewalk on Telegraph Ave. and round the corner onto 19th Street down toward San Pablo Ave, was made up primarily of the young devoted fan base that the wildly popular Ohio pop/indie-rock duo have steadily built up since forming only six years ago. Some were there to also catch local SF band Finish Ticket who, along with Echosmith, are on Twenty One Pilots' current Blurryface tour - one which is sold out solid every night through the beginning of December.
Signed to the Warner-distributed Fueled By Ramen label, Twenty One Pilots is comprised of Tyler Joseph (vocals / piano) and his old friend Josh Dun (percussion) who joined him two years into the band timeline replacing original members Chris Salih and Nick Thomas. The group formed in 2009 in Columbus, Ohio where soon after they had established a large, dedicated hometown fanbase drawn to their diverse pop-rooted rock style sound. They usually get filed under "indie rock," but in actuality their sound transcends that label and encompasses other elements such as electro, reggae, and rap. For example their current popular single "Stressed Out" (not to be confused with the similarly titled song by A Tribe Called Quest) is an infectious pop track with rap verses interspersed throughout. It's a pop song with rapping rather than a hip-hop track with pop music instrumentation.
October 17th brought trap music fans together to celebrate Gucci Mane's career on this year's 1017 day. With rappers and producers along the likes of Metro Boomin, 808 Mafia, Sonny Digital, Yung Gleesh, Ilovemakonnen, and many more all paying homage by dropping music or excessively posting #freegucci, this 10/17 day was quite a jubilant affair.
In 2007, Gucci Mane and rapper OJ Da Juiceman founded the record label 1017 Brick Squad. Trap God, Gucci Mane, has had the streets of Atlanta locked down for over a decade and brought trap music to the mainstream of the hip hop industry. With Gucci currently behind bars and still popping like he never left the streets, celebrating Guwop's legacy never felt more necessary.
Gucci has been serving his prison sentence for over a year and is expected to serve yet another. He is known for his unending work ethic, which has allowed him to stockpile tons on solid material ready to release from the joint. He has managed to keep a steady stream of releases with multiple mix tapes and albums. The Purple Album, The Green Album, The White Album, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Dessert, Trapology, King Gucci, Trap House 5, Views from Zone 6, and more have all been released from the slammer and all riddled with hits.
Author/activist/artist/broadcaster/Krip-Hop Nation founder and frequent guest Amoeblogger Leroy Moore, is his typical hella busy self. Always working on a new project, including new music tracks and putting the finishing touches to his accurately titled new book of poetry and prose, Black Kripple Delivers Poetry & Lyrics, that will be published in December, he is also one of the subjects in the new documentary Where Is Hope - The Art Of Murder that will be screened along with an open forum at various Bay Area venues (in the East Bay and SF) over the coming week beginning on Monday, October 19th in Oakland at Perch on Grand Ave.
Directed by Emmitt H Thrower and co-produced by Moore, the film tackles the very topical subject of police brutality against minorities with a focus on police brutality against people with disabilities. The stories of two main subjects are told, including the well publicized incident of Jason Harrison who was shot and killed by Dallas, Texas police. He was the schizophrenic 38-year-old African American man who was shot and killed by white police officers in front of his own mother on the doorstep of their home after she herself had called 911 for support with her mentally ill son so she could get him to a hospital. Instead, the police, upon seeing the calm Harrison holding a screwdriver, shot and killed him. That was last year. Then a few months ago, a grand jury in Dallas County announced that they would not indict the two officers in the fatal shooting.
cas·sette k??set/ noun: a sealed plastic unit containing a length of audiotape, videotape,
Saturday, October 17th: Today iofficially being Cassette Store Day 2015, during which you'll find lots of cassette tape goodies (new, old, reissues) available at Amoeba Music and other participating music retail stores, I could not help but reminisce over that beloved analog format that was once many people's primary source of music listening and sharing. So, off the top of my head, I randomly compiled the following top ten tape things list, encompassing both good and bad things. Meantime be sure to stop into Amoeba Music today, where it is also Super Saturday Sale day, and peep some of the cassettes available including (at Amoeba SF) Jaylib's Champion Sound and Peanut Butter Wolf & Dam-Funk's 45 Minutes Of Funk. Cassette Store Day aside, on any given day the cassette section of Amoeba is well worth a visit as noted in this previous Amoeblog I did after a most rewarding visit to the Amoeba Berkeley store's cassette section.
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This week's vinyl reissues include six albums by Afrobeat originator Fela Kuti, each pressed on a different color vinyl, and New Order's release of three albums on heavyweight 180gm vinyl, to complete their reissue discography. Here are the reissue highlights for October 16, 2015.
Right at the turn of the aughts, the nebulous genre known as “chillwave” was all the rage, and Neon Indian’s Alan Palomo was its poster boy. On the excellent Psychic Chasms, he took chintzy beats and funky lo-fi synths to psychedelically chilled out heights, while the underrated follow-up, Era Extrana, looked further into the underbelly of ’80s pop for a nighttime pop album worthy of Donnie Darko. Now years later, Palomo has his work cut out for him as EDM rules the summer fest circuit. Somehow, Vega Intl. Night School manages to remind you of the bets bits of chillwave while successfully moving forward. For those in the know, “Annie” was the banger of the summer, flowing new agey flutes into a digi reggae bounce that sounds like a reconfigured synth-funk memory. The old school hip hop vibe of “Street Level” and synth R&B smear “Smut!” seem to drip acid, coming at you and receding simultaneously. “Slumlord” and “Techno Clique” really let Palomo venture into his classic house fetish, naturally extending the sound he’s cultivated thus far into a rewarding new direction. By far his longest and most complete album, Vega ends on a few lightly tossed off tracks—“C’est La Vie” is an italo disco-inspired splatter of color, “61 Cygni Ave” sounds like two Men at Work and Cameo tapes were left in the sun and melted together, and “News From the Sun” ends things on a straight up Prince homage. Detractors might still find fuel since Palomo primarily mines well-worn ’80s pop influences. However, his ability to render those inspirations as alien forms makes him as relevant as ever, bleeding tracks into one another in a perfectly packaged, post-Internet free-for-all that sets your pleasure sensors on overdrive.
New hip-hop albums at Amoeba include ones from Detroit's Illa J and LA's The Game. West Coast gangsta rap artist The Game has released his follow up to The Documentary from a decade ago in two parts with the brand new The Documentary 2 and The Documentary 2.5. Richly diverse and guest heavy, 2 includes such tracks as "Don't Trip (feat. Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and will i am)," "Circles (feat. Q-Tip, Eric Bellinger, & Sha Sha)," Mula (feat Kanye West), and the incredibly popular pre-album released single "100 (feat. Drake)" (see video below). Meanwhile the second part of the two-part release (October 16th street date) The Documentary 2.5. includes such tracks as "Crenshaw/80s and Cocaine (feat. Anderson Paak & Sonyae), "Gang Bang Anyway (feat Jay Rock & Schoolboy Q), and "The Ghetto (feat. Nas & will i am)." Another brand new release is the self titled Illa J CD full-length album that is also available in a vinyl LP version thanks to the Bastard Jazz label.
together PANGEA – “Blue Mirror”
We loved together PANGEA’s last album, Badillac, but this is just next-level. Produced by The Replacements’ Tommy Stinson, there’s more than a little bit of that band’s piss ‘n’ vinegar as filtered through TP’s surfy garage pop melodies (that sounded a lot grosser than I meant it to). The jangly track comes rom The Phage EP, which is out tomorrow on Burger.
Winter’s Supreme Blue Dream has been one of the sweetest albums to come out of L.A. this year, a candy-colored swirl of shoegaze guitars and feathery melodies. “All the Things You Do” continues in that same vein, its loungey chords and kaleidoscope synths giving way to bruising guitar swells. It’s the first new song they’ve released since Supreme Blue Dream and could be on a new album the band is looking to release next year. They’ll be at S.F.’s Brick and Mortar Oct. 18 and L.A.’s Echo Nov. 24. Download the song now from Amoeba.com!
Satuday, Oct. 17, is the day to be at Amoeba. First off, it’s our Super Saturday Sale at all three stores, where we’ll have 20% off all turntables, posters, T-shirts, books, headphones and mugs. And it’s also Cassette Store Day, where we’ll have a number of albums reissued to cassette.
Cassette Store Day is an internationally observed record store holiday much like Record Store Day. It started in the United Kingdom in 2013 to acknowledge the importance of the medium and has seen exclusive releases in the past from Deerhunter, The Flaming Lips and many others.
Below are this year’s cassettes that we’ll have in stock at Amoeba Hollywood on Saturday. Amoeba SF and Berkeley will also carry CSD tapes as well. And if you can’t make it out on Saturday, the leftovers will be made available on Amoeba.com the next day!
|Alex G - Beach Music||Keep Shelly In Athens - Now I'm Ready|
|Beach Slang - Here, I Made This For You||Method Man - The Meth Lab|
|Berlin Brats - Zeitgeis||Motorhead - Bad Magic|
|Bratmobile - Pottymouth||Muse - Drones|
|Car Seat Headrest - Teens Of Style||Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Broom|
|Down - Down III: Over The Under||STRFKR - Reptilians|
|Down - Down IV Part I||Surfer Blood - Astro Coast|
|Down - Down IV Part II||T.S.O.L. - Beneath The Shadows|
|Expert Alterations - You Can't Always Be Liked||Twin Compulsions - Twin Compulsions|
|Foals - What Went Down||Robert Tomaro - Slime City [OST]|
|Free Kitten - Sentimental Education||Various Artists - BIPPP: French Synth Wave 1979-85|
|Girl Band - Holding Hands With Jamie||Chris Walla - Tape Loops|
|Green Day - Dookie||The Wonderland Philharmonic - Shogun Assassin|
|Here's what we'll have at Amoeba SF:|
|Jaylib - Champion Sound||
|Jaylib - Champion Sound Remixes||Sebadoh - KCRTroubleyou|
|Quasimoto - Further||Various Artists - Counterfeit Blanks: 25 Years of Shrimper|
Back in '91 the above promo one sheet was mailed out to rap radio programmers like myself along with the E-40 and The Click promotional record featuring a radio version of E-40's "Mr. Flamboyant" EP. It was the introduction of radio to the "hot rap group" from Vallejo who would enjoy much success in that decade. The promo items were sent by E-40's uncle Saint Charles who, early on in his career, helped him and his family group The Click get their music out via his regional distributor / promotions company SMG (Solar Music Group). And boy did SMG have all areas of promo locked down as clearly outlined by their letterhead that boasted nationwide promotions "on the streets, in the ghettos, at the parties, in the clubs" as well "in the hood" and at college campuses, distributors, and retailers. The company had it lcovered and 40's uncle was instrumental in getting the rapper and Sick Wid' It Records on the map. In this case it was for the 12" pressing that had the radio version of "Mr. Flamboyant" (as distinct from the dirty "street" version of the song found on the cassette release). ["Mr. Flamboyant" also appeared on The Click album Down & Dirty.]
To assist in finding the song, Saint Charles circled the title on the label with a black sharpie pen - just to ensure no one would miss it. Also on the EP were the tracks "Tanji," "Club Hoppin," and "Shut It Down." Released on Sick Wid' It Records the EP was distributed by Rushforce Records who had in 1988 released the pre-Click lineup M.V.P. By the time of this Sick WId' It release E-40 solo and the Click as a group had been releasing records and tapes on Sick Wid' It but soonafter each other member of the family crew would drop solo releases including Forty Wata's (and D-Shot's) sister Suga T who, in March 1993 on Sick Wid' It, would release her solo debut It's All Good.
The show is 21-and-over, and it’s $3 with an RSVP or $12 at the door. An RSVP doesn’t guarantee entrance, so plan to arrive early.
Brooklyn-based Cerebral Ballzy churn out quick, serrated punk songs influenced by the likes of Bad Brains. The band are known for putting on “arresting” live shows. Hear the minute-long “Speed Wobbles” from last year’s Jaded and Faded below.
Just in time for Halloween, Amoeba Music and Criterion Collection are hosting a special free, all-ages screening of David Cronenberg’s 1979 sci-fi horror film The Brood at Space15Twenty Oct. 29 at 6 p.m.
Dress in your scary best as there will be a Halloween costume contest, with prizes given away for the best costumes from Urban Outfitters, Umami Burger, Criterion Collection and Amoeba! There will be complimentary popcorn at the event, and Umami will have a $5 bloody mary special for those who are over 21.
Cult classic The Brood is about the mystery behind the ominous Somafree psychological institute and its connection to a pack of murderous, mutant children. Watch the original trailer below.
Space15Twenty is located across the street from Amoeba Music at 1520 North Cahuenga Boulevard.
Amoeba Music will be on hand at Wax, a record fair happening just up the street from us at the Capitol Records Building parking lot on Vine Street October 24-25. We'll have a massive selection of rare test pressings available, as well as autographed albums and more to pick up, as well as our famous prize wheel—come by and give it a spin!
Tickets for the event start at $10 and are on sale now. The even starts at noon each day and runs until 6 p.m., but early access passes are available for purchase.
Vendors include such labels as Capitol, Harvest, Blue Note, Virgin, Caroline, Stones Throw, Astralwerks, Federal Prism, Innovative Leisure and more. Expect artist signings, DJ sets and moderated panel discussions on ever aspect of producing vinyl.
You can even take a tour of Capitol Studios and Mastering. Mastering and vinyl engineer Ian Sefchick will lead intimate, 30-minute demonstrations showing how vinyl is cut from analog tape on one of the Capitol Neumann lathes, which have cut albums from such artists as Pink Floyd, R.E.M., Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alabama Shakes and N.W.A. (Tour tickets are $40 per person and limited to 36 people per day; buy admittance to the tour as part of your ticket package.)
My Morning Jacket are Louisville, Kentucky based roots rock outfit consisting of singer-songwriter & guitarist Jim James, bassist Tom Blankenship, drummer Patrick Hallahan, guitarist / saxophonist / vocalist Carl Broemel, and keyboardist / percussionist/vocalist Bo Koster. James founded the band in 1998. Their debut album The Tennessee Fire was released a year later, with only James and Blankenship present from the band’s current iteration. My Morning Jacket signed with ATO in 2002 and released their major label debut, It Still Moves a year later.
In 2005, My Morning Jacket’s Z was released via Sony BMG. In 2006, they performed on The Late Show with David Letterman, accompanied by members of the Boston Pops, with whom they would play a handful of shows at Boston Symphony Hall later on. They have played at Lollapalooza, Coachella, Bonnaroo, as well as on Saturday Night Live and on CNN’s 2009 New Year's special. The band has hosted their very own festival, One Big Holiday, in Mexico. They released their seventh studio album, The Waterfall, in 2015, and are working on a 2016 release. My Morning Jacket will swing through Los Angeles for a show at the Shrine Auditorium tomorrow before a three night stint at The Masonic in San Francisco, October 15th-17th.
As a hip-hop artist in the nineties Sweet was a founding member of Kemetic Suns, a member of Fundamentals, as well as founder of the underrated indie label House Kemetic Suns whose releases included the cassette The PatterFall Wars (scroll down to hear). As mentor/teacher Alexander was awarded Certified Teacher of the Year by the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship in 2004 which led to him a few years later founding the Dualism Group whose mission statement he outlined as an, "early stage venture capitalism firm and consulting arm geared toward helping underserved entrepreneurs launch and expand their companies in order to bring jobs to lower income communities." Recently I caught up with Bret Alexander Sweet to find out more about his book and its inspiration.
A group within a society that has its own shared set of customs, attitudes, and values, often accompanied by jargon or slang. A subculture can be organized around a common activity, occupation, age, status, ethnic background, race, religion, or any other unifying social condition, but the term is often used to describe deviant groups, such as thieves and drug users. ( See counterculture.)
No one will ever be able to document every subculture, or even agree upon what they are. With this series I will examine subcultures primarily organized around two things, music and clothing. That way I can largely avoid the can of worms which are gangs. For gangs, both music and clothing are of considerable importance but the engagement in of criminal activity is assumed to be their raison d'être. Also, I don't want to provoke a bunch of angry, misspelled comments written in all caps.
This week's subculture: Kogal
San Francisco's Balboa Theatre and the mysterious forces at Super Shangri-La Show bring you an October to remember with three weeks of Wednesdays of super weird Halloweeny viewing!
The fun starts Wednesday, October 14th at 7:30pm with Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare (1968), the second in the Yokai Monsters movie trilogy. A Babylonian demon is awoken and flies to ancient Japan to take over the body of the local Magistrate. The small country yokai monsters must team up to defeat him. It's a classic little monsters vs. evil big monster scenario and is not to be missed! In Japanese with English subtitles.
What's a yokai? According to Wikipedia: "Yokai (ghost, phantom, strange apparition) are a class of supernatural monsters in Japanese folklore. The word yokai is made up of the kanji for 'bewitching; attractive; calamity' and 'apparition; mystery; suspicious.'" I'm sold. RSVP on Facebook for entertaining updates.
Wednesday, October 21st unleashes Mario Bava's 1965 sci-fi/horror classic Planet of the Vampires. This movie features two great tastes that go great together: space and the undead. Its a stylish adventure with hot Italian chicks in space suits, and many critics say that it inspired Ridley Scott's Alien. RSVP on Facebook, invite your friends and family.
Despite the numerous studies conducted that unequivocally prove that there is a direct positive correlation between arts and music programs in schools, and improving academic scores and school attendance records for students who participate, music and arts programs in American public schools are constantly under the threat of being cut from their respective district's shrinking school budgets. School districts in cities across the US such as Chicago, Detroit, and Oakland are among those to feel the results of these budget cuts. Viewing them as short-sighted and detrimental to their communities, 51Oakland co-founder Jason Hofmann calls the cuts to the music and art programs criminal. "That there are no art and music programs in the public schools is a crime," said Hofmann who four years ago, with Yoshi Akiba (Yoshi's Jazz club co-owner), co-founded the non-profit 51Oakland organization with the singular goal of bringing music and arts back into the classrooms of the city of Oakland schools. Jason and Yoshi outlined 51Oakland's mission statement as "a funding conduit for inspirational music and arts programs developed by a synergistic partnership of Oakland Unified School District’s (OUSD) principals and teachers, professional musicians and artists and involved community members." 51Oakland has produced its own events and developed programs, as well as teaming up with another similarly themed local non-profit Elevate Oakland that is headed by Sheila E - the accomplished percussionist, singer, former Prince collaborator, and daughter of Pete Escovedo.
Gun Outfit – “Dream All Over”
L.A. dream-rockers Gun Outfit have released several great tracks already from their upcoming fourth album, Dream All Over, which is due Oct. 16 on Paradise of Bachelors. The title track builds on droning guitars that split the difference between Morricone and The Velvet Underground, painting imagery of a moonlit California sky with tangled guitar thunder. Check out Dream All Over when it comes out next week.
Drab Majesty – “The Heiress” video
Defiantly gothy synth-pop of the highest order comes to us from L.A.’s Drab Majesty on “The Heiress.” It’s the latest single and video from their album Careless, out on Dais. Get lost in their halls of purple neon and digital waves via Tiny Mix Tapes. They’ll be at Oakland’s Santos Studios Nov. 6 and L.A.’s Complex Nov. 7.
Kisses continue to make smart, chilled-out disco-pop on their third album, stripping back some of the atmospherics of previous releases and upping the grooves. Spareness reveals how lovely Jesse Kivel’s voice and melodies are on a song like “Sun,” as Kivel moves from singing over a solo beat into a falsetto over romantic synth touches. Freestyle and ’80s synth R&B inform tracks like “Control” without them being mere homages. Most of Rest in Paradise sits comfortably as headphone-friendly electro pop, but a track like “A Groove” also gets your blood pumping with its high-hats, rubbery bassline and pure disco strings and guitars. Rest in Paradise is perhaps the L.A. duo’s best and boldest album yet, building on their easy appeal while delivering the disco jammers in spades.
Protomartyr make no-bullshit indie rock. Guitars are as in-tune as when they pick them up. Joe Casey’s vocals are declarative and fierce, eschewing melody in favor of direct emotion, spitting “I will make them feel the way I do” on surging opener “The Devil in His Youth.” This isn’t to say Protomartyr are sloppy. Everything on The Agent Intellect feels finely honed, drawing from bands like Husker Du, R.E.M. and Guided By Voices to distill bile-ridden diatribes into taut, nihilistic post-punk. Protomartyr’s tunneling rhythms and mangled notes aren’t particularly pretty, but The Agent Intellect feels true and cathartic. “Tell me how you really feel” might be one of the most annoying phrases in the English language. Protomartyr answer in kind.
"If I was to end all this tomorrow and I had an album, then I would be happy," DJ Shortkut confided when I caught up with the hardworking, highly respected, and diversely talented San Francisco DJ in his hometown this week. Feeling "exhausted" but with a wide smile on his face, the heavy in-demand globe-trotting DJ, who is booked on average 4 to 5 nights a week, was just back home in the States from Asia where he's been spending a lot of time in recent months including at Red Bull Thre3Style events with the recently reunited Invisibl Skratch Piklz (ISP), along with Qbert and D-Styles, with whom he recorded the anticipated album The 13th Floor. Despite the fact that he was honored with the Grand Wizard Theodore Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the development of scratching & DJ culture, and that he holds membership of three of the most revered turntablist ensembles in the history of the genre - ISP, The Beat Junkies, and Triple Threat DJs (with Vinroc and Apollo) - and has recorded with each of them, plus released a stack of his own amazing solo DJ mixes encompassing hip-hop and dancehall and other styles, he has never released a DJ Shortkut album. But that is all about to change the Daly City DJ born Jonathan Cruz told me this week following an impressive turntable set he threw down at Guitar Center on Van Ness celebrating the launch of Thud Rumble and DJ Qbert's TRX Scratch Mixer.
What! Another new Beach House album? You heard that right.
Even if you haven’t finished digesting the delicious stew that is Beach House’s most recent album, Depression Cherry, which was released just two months ago, there’s a new one coming out Oct. 16 called Thank Your Lucky Stars. Which is what we’re all doing right now because you can never have enough Beach House in your life.
The album will first come out as a full-length LP, with the CD out a couple of weeks later. You can preorder both now on Amoeba.com. Why might you want to do that now, you may ask? The early birds who preorder now will get Sub Pop's "Loser Edition," the label's early color vinyl releases (this one's green). The LP also comes with a download card of the album.
According to the band’s Twitter account, it’s not a companion album nor a B-sides comp but rather its own album, as Pitchfork reports.
1: LUCKY 13 by Lord Toph
2: On That Town Shit
Confessions of a Rap Nerd
3: "Resident gets a package of gorilla dung" newspaper story
4: Memphis Murder Music
5: To Make D.M.T. In Your Kitchen
6: Five "rarish" Bay Area rap records
7: RBL Posse early 1990's In-A-Minute press photo
8: Break Science & The MC
9: Ocean Floor Records profile
10: 5 Random Grabs by DJ Eons One
You've got to love everything about DIY music and culture zine LET'S SIDE - the Bay rap-rooted, retro styled, DIY printed publication that is curated and published by longtime Bay Area underground hip-hop artist and label owner Luke Sick (Grand Invincible / Grand Killa Con) who, via his original hip-hop crew Sacred Hoop, initially came to fame in the 1990's. That same decade gets a lot of throwback love in the zine that Luke launched three years ago and has tirelessly been publishing ever since. LET'S SIDE is a heartfelt homage to not just the nineties but that whole era of 80's/90's/early 2000's right before the Internet pretty much took over everything. His zine's stubbornly simple, pre-digital / analog aesthetics are similar to Luke's indie music label MegaKut - on which he releases extremely limited run cassette-only releases of typically a 100 copies total pressing. Similarly LET'S SIDE is a print only, quarterly zine, of which only a 100 printed copies are made. The zines are all handmade by Luke down at his local Xerox store - just like in the olden days before websites, blogs, and Instagram when information was limited and slowly disseminated. With a small talented crew of contributors, but no advertising or financial backing - just his passion for music and culture Luke delivers a wonderfully raw, unpolished, throwback style zine that is unlike any other.
Our next Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood is Saturday, Oct. 17, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., right outside the store. We'll have huge bargains on the following:
- Fresh 45s at two for $1
- Buy-one-get-one-free CDs (free CD must be of equal or lesser value)
- $1 clearance vinyl
- 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
It's also the same day as our Super Saturday Sale, where you can pick up turntables, posters, T-shirts, books, headphones and mugs at 20% off. (Some exclusions apply.) And we'll also be running our pop-up shop for Father John Misty in-store during that time. (Due to the limited nature of the Father John Misty pop-up, these items do not apply to the Super Saturday Sale.) Come out to Amoeba Music and score deals inside and outside the store!
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.
Amoeba Hollywood is hosting a Father John Misty pop-up shop Wednesday, October 14 through Sunday, October 18! Filth Mart is designing a limited-edition t-shirt in collaboration with Father John MIsty to celebrate the occasion and you can purchase it – along with FJM limited-edition vinyl, "Innocence" by Misty perfume, hats, sweatshirts, t-shirts, and posters – at the pop-up shop. Don't miss taking a selfie with a cardboard standup Josh Tillman!
Father John Misty is town for two sold out shows at the Wiltern October 16th and 17th. We're giving away tickets to both shows on Twitter and in-store at Amoeba Hollywood starting 10/14. You can also win a pair of tickets to the October 17th show on Amoeba.com. Enter here.
The pop-up shop is in support of Father John Misty’s newest album, I Love You, Honeybear. This fearless second record builds on his folk-rock sound with orchestral touches, genre diversions, and direct, conversational lyrics that cut through singer/songwriter cliches.
In addition to the pop-up shop on Saturday, October 17, we're also having a sidewalk sale 12-5pm and our big Super Saturday Sale (all day). Don't miss this chance to score some huge deals that day while you're checking out the pop-up shop. Due to the limited nature of the Father John Misty pop-up, these items do not apply to the Super Saturday Sale.
On Saturday, October 3rd we had a great time at Amoeba Hollywood with our first-time host, comedian and actor Nick Thune! For this month's charity auction, we teamed up again with the awesome folks at NerdMelt and raised money for our friends at the Silverlake Conservatory of Music. Nick hails from the Great Northwest (Seattle), where he spent his early years growing up. His absurdest view and deadpan wit combined with the soothing lull of his guitar, have distinguished his unique style of comedy. He has appeared on the Tonight Show eight times, and on each occasion, he won. Nick has also appeared on Conan, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and has his own Comedy Central special. His comedy special, Folk Hero, is available on Netflix and iTunes and you can get a copy on vinyl at Amoeba, of course.
Nick auctioned off a vast and crazy array of concert tickets, gift certificates to local hot spots, and random promotional stuff---with all proceeds benefitting the Silverlake Conservatory of Music's scholarship programs. Their mission is to facilitate basic music education, focusing on the youth of the community while welcoming everyone to participate.The Conservatory offers private music lessons at a reasonable cost and grants scholarships to children in need, providing free lessons and instruments. The study of music enriches not only the life of the student, but the community and society as well.
Dan Deacon is a Baltimore-based composer, electronic musician and founder of the Wham City arts and music collective. He released his self-released his first two albums as a solo artist, Meetle Mice and Silly Hat vs Egale Hat, on CD-R while attending SUNY Purchase. He released several recordings before coming to national attention with 2007’s Spiderman of the Rings, which was released by Carpark Records, and included in Pitchfork’s “Top 50 Albums of 2007.” Two years later, he released the critically-acclaimed Bromst. In 2012, Dan Deacon released America on Domino Records. His fourth album, Gliss Riffer, was released in early 2015, also via Domino.
Dan Deacon is beloved for his entertaining live shows, which he performs surrounded by the audience. You can see him live in Los Angeles this Saturday, October 10 at Festival Supreme and in San Francisco January 29, 2016 at the Fillmore. His classical and film score work is perhaps less well-known, although his work has been performed at The Barbican in London for the Steve Reich Reverberations Festival and at Carnegie Hall as part of their American Mavericks series. He has also collaborated with video artists and curates and hosts Gunky’s Basement Film Series, a year-round extension of the Maryland Film Festival.
Meanwhile the artist himself, in reaction to how the average hip-hop fan assumed that he had hung up the mic for good since he had not released anything since 2009's I heard It Today, also made a statement to insist that this should not be called a comeback by the post-millennium underground hip-hop star. "I’ve been very active musically for years but I haven’t been putting records out," the Massachusetts artist born Jeffrey Haynes insisted, adding that, "I’ve been touring the world with Thievery Corporation and otherwise living in the studio, constantly making songs.” Fans, who were introduced to the artist via such now indie hip-hop classics as his 2002 EP on Def Jux I Phantom, can look forward to his first in the Mello Music Group album series in early 2016. In the meantime the label has announced that it will be reissuing the (long out of print) 14 track, double LP I Phantom on November 27th. That underground classic from El-P's now defunct Defintiive Jux features an impressive array of artists (production and mic) joining the Boston emcee throughout including El-P, Edan, Insight, DJ Fakts One, Aesop Rock, Jean Grae, and Akrobatik. You can find Mr. Lif's previous releases on the Amoeba website. Below is the video for the track "The Sun" off 2009's and another with Thievery Corportion from 2011.
Anyway, of the members of V.A.N., Engelke appears to have had the most previous professional experience having played in the bands Letter X and Zeno. He was born in Hanover in 1961 and began playing guitar at thirteen. In interviews he's mentioned that bands he liked included Deep Purple, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Mott the Hoople, T. Rex, Yes -- but that his favorite of all-time is, revealingly, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow.
One of the most prolific and idiosyncractic songwriters of his generation has covered an entire album from one of the most ubiquitous pop stars of her generation, and soon you can own the results on LP or CD!
Ryan Adams' full-album cover of Taylor Swift's megaselling 1989 album was an welcome surprise, as Adams filtered Swift's maximalist radio pop into his world-weary Americana style. The album will be released by Blue Note on CD Oct. 30 and on LP Dec. 11.
You missed a wild one if you weren’t at Amoeba Hollywood Thursday evening.
Electro-pop goddess Peaches lamented eating cheez-its as she emerged from backstage. Wiping her hands on her tasteful (by Peaches’ standards) green shirt-dress, the singer launched right into a short set of songs from her latest release, Rub, an album that aims squarely for the controversy button like a mosquito drawn to a bloody nipple (listen to Rub and you’ll understand why such graphic imagery is appropriate).
She whipser-rapped lyrics that swirl together the political with gender role play over a minimalist electro throb on the title track. She twerked over the lo-fi hip hop beat of “Dick in the Air,” swinging the mic and starting a dance party in the process. For her third and final track, Peaches invited a special guest onstage: Jarvis Cocker. (Or at least a cardboard cut-out of the Pulp singer.) With an Amoebite helping Jarvis dance his cardboard heart out, Peaches reveled in the raunchy “Vaginoplasty” and unleashed her powerful singing voice, an oft-overlooked tool in her arsenal. With that, Peaches was gone … but not without one final shock, pulling her pants down to reveal underwear fitted with a nipple.
Deafheaven’s fusion of black metal, shoegaze and post-rock continues to grow richer and bolder on their third album. Following the crossover success of their much-celebrated second album, Sunbather, it may have been tempting for the band to trim off their rough edges — namely, the black metal influence that accounts for a large part of their sound — to focus on the more accessible parts. The fact that they didn’t speaks highly of their integrity, sure, but it’s also ensured Deafheaven stays an original. With five extended tracks, New Bermuda feels like one massive, evolving piece, making it easier to point to moments rather than entire songs that speak to you — the way “Luna” folds melodic chords into its double-bass barrage and ends up in a scenic place as lovely as anything on Souvlaki or Agaetis Byrjun; or how “Come Back” clears the way for Kerry McCoy’s chugging power chords and harmonic descending scales and George Clark’s shriek from the depths; or “Baby Blue’s” heroic, Pumpkinsy wah-wahed solos. Any metal fan can extoll the genre’s ability to soothe not in spite of, but because of its brutality and decibel level. There’s something about the music’s capacity to overwhelm and obliterate outside noise, memories, anxiety and trauma that’s rather unparalleled. Deafheaven’s commitment to bringing that sound into an indie-rock setting and vice versa has helped make them the best and most important metal crossover act since Metallica. Whatever your preferred noise is in which to lose yourself, New Bermuda is a crucial meeting point.
The soundtrack to the Kurt Cobain doc Montage of Heck, featuring a score of Cobain’s home demos, will be released on Nov. 13 on CD and Super Deluxe CD and Dec. 11 on double LP. You can preorder the soundtrack on Amoeba.com now.
Montage Of Heck: The Home Recordings features short demos, experiments and snippets of tunes that would end up as songs on Nirvana albums according to Rolling Stone. The regular CD version has 13 tracks, while the deluxe LP version has 31.
The super deluxe CD version also includes a deluxe edition of the film, with 48 minutes of bonus interviews, as well as a 160-page hardbound book with interviews, a puzzle, movie poster, postcards and a bookmark. It’s the only way to get the 31-track version of the album on CD.
The regular Montage of Heck DVD and Blu-ray also come out Nov. 13. Also seeing release is a Cobain 7” featuring a cover of The Beatles’ “And I Love Her,” backed by an early demo called “Sappy.” You can pick up the 7” at Amoeba stores on Nov. 20. Meanwhile, Nirvana's self-titled greatest hits album will see release on a double-LP Nov. 13.
Celebrate the month of October with a week full of classic Universal horror movies at Balboa Theatre, from Friday, October 2nd through Thursday, October 8th. Frankenstein, his Bride, the Wolf Man, Dracula...they'll all be there.
But have you ever wondered who gave these classic monsters their winning good looks? Who sculpted Boris Karloff's architectural forehead for Frankenstein? Who designed the widow's peak on Bela Lugosi's Dracula? Who glued yak hair to Lon Chaney, Jr.'s face for The Wolf Man? That man was renown make-up artists Jack Pierce (1889 – 1968), a Greek immigrant who changed the face of horror forever. Catch the new documentary about Pierce, El Cerrito filmmaker Strephon Taylor's Jack Pierce: The Man Who Made Monsters, at the Balboa along with his classic works he's is most known for.
Bring in an Amoeba Music receipt for any purchase made during October 2015 to the Balboa Theatre for these monster screenings and get a FREE popcorn!
Amoeba Hollywood regularly sells tickets to local shows, with the added bonus of charging low service fees (if you are into saving money and who isn't really?).
All tickets can be purchased at the registers (while supplies last) for a $2 service fee. We take cash and credit cards for all ticket sales. Store credit and coupons cannot be applied to ticket sales. Limit 4 tickets per person.
For Club Nokia and Shrine Expo Hall shows, we only carry general admission tickets. If you wish to purchase reserved seating at Club Nokia (where available), you can buy those tickets online here. If you wish to purchase reserved seating at Shrine Expo Hall (where available), you can buy those tickets online here.
Please note that on the day of the show, we will stop selling tickets for that show at 5pm.
Tickets are limited, so please call the store first to make sure they are available: 323-245-6400.
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They Might Be Giants