Fair Winds and Following Seas Aboard Numero Group's Seafaring Strangers: Private Yacht compilation

Posted by Kells, July 31, 2017 10:11pm | Post a Comment
Is popular music pounding a hole into your Summer soul? Are you tired of your local "light rock, less talk" radio station slicing out the same old top-forty farts? If you're looking for deeper-than-deep Soft Rock cuts, other songs titled "Sailing," and generally more "yacht," less Lil Yachty in your life, then Chicago-based label Numero Group has got you covered. Welcome aboard Seafaring Strangers: Private Yacht, the latest addition to their stellar Wayfaring Strangers series of compilations and a twenty track bounty of sonic solutions for anyone in need of a latitude adjustment à la boxed pinot grigio soaked, gently-rolled joints of poolside AM GOLD.

Numero Group's knack for mining oddities and essentials from America's private press netherworld and beyond is legendary at this point and, given the scope of known and unknown genres already showcased in their broad range of compilations, Private Yacht feels as delightfully inevitable as it sounds immediately right-on at first listen. In many ways it plays as if it's picking up where their Record Store Day 2012 compilation WTNG 89.9FM: Solid Bronze left off, each track possessing similar stylistic qualities whether they skew more towards AOR, Modern Soul, lite Disco/Funk, dockside singer-songwriter Folk, or Smooth Jazz-tainted Southern Rock session throwaways.

Sometimes the best part of digging into a lovingly curated comp spread over two LPs (like this one) is discovering which tracks standout with each pass, back to front, sides A through D. Clockable similarities and differences in style and composition aside, standouts in this mix ebb and flow in a steady tide of mood, here a slappy, bass-y space groove, there a quasi-Beach Music/Surf Rock hybrid, all awash in a pleasantly mysterious fidelity reminiscent of a thousand sun-baked snack bar boom boxes blasting on their third lowest volume setting. That might sound a little shitty, but trust: it's just right.

My current favorite track is the Carolina Beach Music-adjacent jam "One More Time" by Salty Miller (a.k.a. Nelson Miller of The Monzas). It's got a captivating late afternoon shuffle framed with the sounds of seagulls and gently rolling surf, languid guitar strums, shore-strolling bass lines, soothing backing vocals, and breezy strings 'n things that just make you want to loose your shoes already. Check out Numero Group's promo vid for this "wreck-diving the private American AOR ship graveyard" expedition below, featuring Paul Skyland's superbly easy-going windjammer "Give Me Your Love"—welcome aboard. 


Hip-Hop Rap Up 07:31:17: Madchild, BadBadNotGood, DJ Harrison, Kool Keith Presents Tashan Dorrsett, Howie B

Posted by Billyjam, July 31, 2017 05:59pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music Hip-Hop Top Five 07:31:17

1: Madchild The Darkest Hour (also avail on LP/vinyl) (Battle Axe Records)

2: Kool Keith Presents: Tashan Dorrsett The Preacher picture disc LP (Junkadelic/Fat Beats)

3: BadBadNotGood Late Night Tales (also on vinyl/LP) (Late Night Tales)

4: DJ Harrison Hazy Moods (Stones Throw)

5: Howie B + Craig Richards "Old Boys (feat. Shaun Ryder)" 7" (Tuppence)

Madchild's new "Black & White" video was shot on location in India as part of the promotion for the
Swollen Members' emcee's excellent new solo album The Darkest Hour (on LP/vinyl) via Battle Axe

1: Madchild The Darkest Hour (on LP/vinyl) (Battle Axe):  Madchild''s new album title, The Darkest Hour, pretty much sums up and sets the tone for the Swollen Members star's excellent new, Evidence produced, solo album. Released by Battle Axe in CD and in LP/vinyl formats the 14 track release lyrically is a cathartic exercise in the former opioid-addicted artist's troubled soul and the painful thoughts that routinely haunt his mind. This ongoing internal mental battle, following an admitted five year intense addiction to the painkiller Percocet, was captured by the album's lead singles/videos "Write It Down" and "BadChild."  Like much of the new album, the narrative of those songs tackled the dark places he has gone in his mind as a result of his out-of-control addiction: one that he once estimated cost him $3million spent on drugs!  On the album track "Broken Record" he notes how the temptation is always nearby, especially when he has nothing to occupy his time with. "Addicts are addicts, there's no way around it," he raps on the song, apologizing for sounding like a broken record, and noting how there are "Bumps in the road, just jump back on the wagon. Everyone slips up once, it just happens." Then on the album track and its new accompanying video, shot to dramatic effect on location in India, he bears his soul and his not so pretty life before as he saw it with "Evil all around and hatred" in yet another song of soul searching and reflecting on life and relationships etc. But it is Madchild's hopeful positive tone of overcoming the darkness that makes the album such a pleasure to listen to: that and its pitch perfect production by Evidence.  The multi-talented LA producer (and rapper) also lends his emcee skills to four of the new album's fourteen tracks including "Green Light," "Corleone," "All I Know" (also featuring guest Krondon from Strong Arm Steady), and "Club 33" that also features Evidence's longtime collaborator The Alchemist.  All of these, along with all the other album's carefully chosen guests (Domo Genesis, Oh No, Fashawn, Aston Matthews and Illmaculate), perfectly compliment Madchild's flow and style. 

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A Changed Man, Longtime SF Rapper Playa P Emerged From 10 Year Prison Sentence With Goal Of Finally Recording His Solo Debut

Posted by Billyjam, July 28, 2017 11:29am | Post a Comment

Last August, after serving the final day of a ten year prison sentence on a Federal case for serious drugs and weapons charges, veteran Fillmore San Francisco rapper Playa P walked out the gates of an Arizona penitentiary. Finally he was a free man! With sixteen months shaved off his ten year sentence (for
outstandingly good behavior) the artist born Paris Moffett, who was clearly a changed man, had served 8 years and 8 months of his life behind the bars of various Federal penitentiary facilities. And he vowed that he was never going back to prison and, more importantly, the life that landed him inside.  Gone forever are those "activities on the street" as he euphemistically now refers back to his once routine lifetime of slanging drugs, dodging the po-po, and side-stepping his many street rivals as he protected his turf. It was also a life in which he saw his brother shot and killed on the street. That was back in 2002 and was among those life-altering incidents that helped snap his brain to mentally rise above and envision an alternative way of living, and making a living.

"Locked up I had a lot of time to think, to reevaluate my whole life, the meaning of family, of God, and of course music. That was the thing that kept me going," he said one sunny recent day eleven months since his release. "The very first thing I did after been released was to see my family: hug my kids, my girl, my mom and my dad. And then I made a song: "Real Recognize Game." I had to do it right away. Upon release I was in the halfway house but I recorded the song and video in the free time I had," stated Playa P of the video that appears down below. The artist credits rap and hip-hop, along with God, for "help saving my life." Busy writing and recording such other as upcoming album tracks as "Money Never Sleeping" and "Respect My Mind," he has been busy catching up and reconnecting with old rap friends and offering to do shows wherever/whenever he can. These have included such shared bills as concert dates with San Quinn (last month), J.Stalin (last week), and Mac Mall (next month - see flyer above with Mall reppin' his late great old friend Mac Dre's legacy).

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NightLife Live Featuring Electric Guest & The She's, August 10

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 25, 2017 06:06pm | Post a Comment

NightLife Live 2017 San Francisco

Electric Guest
Eectric Guest

Kick off your Outside Lands weekend with a very special edition of NightLife Live at California Academy of Sciences. On Thursday, August 10th, the summer music series returns with two stellar music acts, art installations, craft projects, designer cocktails, virtual reality experiences, and more!

Start the night with local phenoms The She's with their ‘60s pop and surf rock-inspired harmonies and jangly guitars, and then catch the upbeat electronic R&B headliner Electric Guest. In between sets, listen to the sonic artistry of DJ KingMost and check out the art installations in the West Garden from Tyler Dean Harrison, Quarso, and Luminous Waveforms. Also make sure you browse used vinyl at the Amoeba Music pop-up shop! We'll be bringing loads of quality used vinyl so prepare to go crate digging.

San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences continues to reinvent Thursday nights with their NightLife LIVE summer music series. Inspired by science and powered by sound, the Academy transforms itself into a 21+ oasis of music and art one night a month.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with T.S.O.L.

Posted by Amoebite, July 25, 2017 05:52pm | Post a Comment

John Grisham TSOL What's In My Bag?

Jack Grisham, lead singer of legendary Long Beach punk band T.S.O.L., recently visited Amoeba Hollywood and shared some of his favorite records with us in this "What's In My Bag?" episode. The lyricist and author had much to say about what the albums meant to him, including The Beatles' Revolver, which he often listens to while making his own music. "When I put on a great song, it makes me want to strive to write a great song," he tells us. "It's just the feeling of thinking, god, something this cool was created."

T.S.O.L. (True Sounds of Liberty) was founded in 1978 in Long Beach, CA. Original members Jack Grisham (vocals), Ron Emory (guitar), and Mike Roche (bass) are still with the band. The band's self-titled debut EP was released in spring 1981. Their first full-length, Dance with Me, landed later that T.S.O.L. The Trigger Complexsame year. The band signed to Alternative Tentacles in 1982, the same year Greg Kuehn (piano, synths) joined the group. He departed a year later and returned in 2005. Drummer Chip Hanna joined in 2016.

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The Leimert Park Village Book Fair, August 19

Posted by Amoebite, July 23, 2017 05:15pm | Post a Comment

Leimert Park Village Book Fair

The Leimert Park Village Book Fair returns to the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles on Saturday, August 19th from 10am-6pm. This free summer literary event attracts over 200 authors, poets, spoken word artists, storytellers, performers, and literary/educational exhibitor participants. With five outdoor stages (fiction, children’s literature, poetry, and cooking and health), fabulous exhibits, film screenings, panel discussions, fun kids' activities, workshops, and more, this fair has it all!

Amoeba is delighted to sponsor the Leimert Park Village Book Fair. Please find our booth and say hi!

For more information on the event, visit their website HERE.

Hip-Hop Rap Up 07:23:17: Brian Coleman, Sean Price, Tyler, The Creator, Meek Mill, Trae Tha Truth, Ras Kass, Twiztid, Lando Chill

Posted by Billyjam, July 23, 2017 11:59am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music New Hip-Hop Releases Top 5: 07:23:17

1: Tyler, The Creator Flower Boy (Explicit Cover CD) (Columbia/Legacy)

2: Meek Mill Wins & Losses (Atlantic)

3: Trae Tha Truth Tha Truth Part 3  (Empire)

4: Twiztid Abominationz Picture Disc LP (Majik Ninja)

5: Ras Kass Soul On Ice 2LP Reissue (Priority)

Last night in Connecticut during a Hot 93.7 radio sponsored Chance The Rapper headlining concert a reported 90 people were hospitalized, reportedly most for out of hand inexperienced heavy drinking resulting in dozens of underage drinkers suffering from "severe alcohol intoxication" and resulting in the local Hartford ambulance service calling out for back-up support from neighboring towns. Meanwhile back in California the other day (July 20th) at Amoeba Berkeley author Brian Coleman and DJ Platurn's jointly curated Checking The Technique panel on hip-hop, that included Domino, Adisa the Bishop, Prozack from Foreign Legion, and Eric Arnold, went well according to all in attendance with DJ Stef reporting that the best parts were all the stories that the veteran hip-hop panelists had to share.

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Happy 76th Birthday American Music Living Legend / Godfather of Funk: George Clinton [includes upcoming CA concert dates]

Posted by Billyjam, July 22, 2017 11:20am | Post a Comment

The term "living legend" literally applies to pioneering American music artist George Clinton who today celebrates his 76th birthday. The funk innovator, captain of the mothership, nucleus of Parliament,
Funkadelic, P-Funk All Stars and other spin off bands, George Clinton is an important, historic key figure in shaping not just funk music but also a lot of hip-hop too.  If you have never seen him in concert do yourself a favor and make it a priority and do it this year. You can do it since the hard working musician who, even in his mid 70's, still tours like crazy. He is on a break right now but resumes in a week with a list of upcoming California dates that offer many opportunities to catch this living legend live in concert.

His upcoming California dates include playing Berkeley's Cornerstone in a couple of weeks on August 3rd and the following night in the North Bay at the Mystic Theater in Petaluma. Then he's down to SoCal for dates including August 5th (Saturday at 4pm) by the Queen Mary in Long Beach as part of the all day Summertime in the LBC 2017 festival on an amazing line-up that also includes Wu-Tang Clan, 50 Cent, KRS-One, Slick Rick, DJ Quik, Souls of Mischief, Tha Dogg Pound, and The Dove Shack to name but a few from the impressive day's list of performers. The next day Clinton and band will play the Observatory in Santa Ana at 8pm, August 6th, followed by a gig at the GRAMMY Museum in LA on August 9th. Then he's back up in the Bay Area on August 11th at the San Jose Jazz Society. Looking ahead a few months are the upcoming October Bay dates, two consecutive nights, at The Independent in San Francisco on Oct 15th and16th.

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Raleigh Ritchie

Posted by Amoebite, July 20, 2017 11:17am | Post a Comment

Raleigh Ritchie What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

Game of Thrones fans and music lovers, rejoice! Actor and musician Raleigh Ritchie, aka Jacob Anderson, aka Grey Worm, recently went shopping for records, movies and more at Amoeba Hollywood. Ritchie shared with us some of his favorite albums, including Donny Hathaway's Extension Of a Man. "Donny Hathaway's my favorite," he tells us, "definitely my favorite singer of all time, 'cause you believe every single word he says." We had a fantastic time talking with Ritchie as he enthusiastically gave us insight into each of his picks in this "What's In My Bag?" episode.

English actor and musician Jacob Anderson makes music under the name Raleigh Ritchie. Best known as the character of Grey Worm on Game of Thrones, Anderson moved from Bristol to London at RAleigh Ritchie You're A Man Now, Boyage seventeen to pursue his music career. In 2006, he was featured on dance producer Typesun's track "The PL" and the two teamed up a year later for "Let Me Know." His profile was raised further thanks to a collaboration with Plan B and Anderson signed to Columbia in 2013.

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Amoeba Berkeley's "Checking the Technique" Panelists Brian Coleman, DJ Platurn, Domino, Adisa Banjoko & Eric Arnold Share Picks

Posted by Billyjam, July 19, 2017 08:12pm | Post a Comment

Author of the acclaimed hip-hop album guide Check The Technique two-volume book series Brian Coleman will be at Amoeba Berkeley tomorrow, Thursday July 20th at 530pm (free and all ages), when the Boston based hip-hop ambassador will oversee an anticipated panel discussion plus record spinning session fittingly entitled "Checking The Technique." Joining Coleman for an evening of what promises to "celebrate old-school hip-hop, especially focusing on rap’s “Golden Age” with an emphasis on Bay Area and California artists" will be former Amoeba Berkeley staffer DJ Platurn (45 Sessions/Oakland Faders), Adisa Banjoko (Hip Hop Chess Federation & author of Bobby, Bruce & The Bronx), Eric Arnold (Oakulture), Domino (Hieroglyphics), and Prozack Turner (Foreign Legion/The Legionnaire Saloon). In addition to spinning select vinyl and discussing some of their favorite hip-hop records these panelists (comprised of DJs, artists, and historians) will talk about the importance of both documenting hip-hop's history as well as always been attentive to new upcoming hip-hop artists and musical trends.

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Ladies and Gentlemen...The Revolution.

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 19, 2017 07:34pm | Post a Comment

The Revolution

By Brent James

The Revolution recently had a two-night engagement at the historic Fillmore Auditorium in San The RevolutionFrancisco on July 11th and 12th, and we had the absolute pleasure of attending not one but both sold-out shows! Featuring the original lineup of Wendy Melvoin on guitar, Lisa Coleman and “Dr.” Matt Fink on keys, BrownMark on bass, and Bobby Z on drums, Prince’s former band tore through two hours of memories with precision and finesse.


“Yes, Lisa…”

“Computer Blue” kicks off the set with an ocean blue wash over the transfixed capacity crowd. The band stays true to the original but owned it and the other songs as well, with an updated yet familiar sound of a band that’s been playing together on and off for over 30 years. “America” came next, more relevant now than ever. We’re reminded that Prince saw our future in 1985.

By the time “Mountains” rolls into the set, you find yourself in awe of the fact that you’re watching the band that wrote and recorded these gems in person. Many people are here tonight to heal, some are here out of curiosity. One thing is for sure and widely understood: the Purple Family runs deep and all are welcome. Yes, we’re here to celebrate Prince and His legacy, but this band is holding their own and without a doubt making Him proud.

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Remembering Peter Principle of Tuxedomoon

Posted by Billyjam, July 18, 2017 05:05am | Post a Comment
A lot of fans and friends of Tuxedomoon member Peter Principle were surprised and saddened yesterday to learn of the passing of the bassist/guitarist born Peter Dachert. Some expressed hope that the news, announced via Facebook yesterday morning, might have been a fake story. But sadly the death from "natural causes" was confirmed of the 63 year old  whose group came to fame in San Francisco in the late 70's in the post punk era. Tuxedomoon, who got major play on college stations at the time especially on hometown station KUSF, often got lumped in with all of the other local emerging new wave and post-punk acts of that era. However they were truly a unique act with a distinctive sound, as well as visuals in their live shows. Their more avant-garde sound was electronic experimental, comprised of electric violin and synths in addition to guitars, and hence unlike the traditional guitar driven sound of most of their peers at the time. Amoeba bio writer Marcus Kagler described Tuxedomoon's sound as a melding of "avant-garde soundscapes, jazz fusion, and electronic wizardry with performance art gaining much deserved notoriety throughout art circles in the U.S. and Europe."

Tuxedomoon formed in San Francisco in 1977 by Blaine Reininger and Steven Brown with Peter Principle joining the group two years later. That was after they'd released (for The Residents' original record label Raplh Records) their debut album No Tears and before the recording of their second album Half-Mute that was released in 1980 (Note: reissued on vinyl/LP just earlier this year). Soonafter the release of their third album, Desire in 1981, Tuxedomoon had relocated to Europe where they founded the record label Crammed Discs out of Brussels in Belgium. Following a hectic prolific 1980's, the following decade was one of inaction for the group. But by 2000 they regrouped and began recording and touring again.  As noted in their Amoeba bio Tuxedomoon’s 30th anniversary was observed by the release of their first box set, 7707tm: 30th Anniversary Box (2007 Cramboy) that combined their release Vapour Trails with remastered rarities and b-sides stretching back to their inception in 1977. In addition to Tuxedomoon albums, Principle also contributed to side releases by the band members Blaine L. Reininger and Winston Tong.

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2017's Top 20 Best Selling Albums...So Far

Posted by Amoebite, July 17, 2017 04:54pm | Post a Comment

Best Selling Albums of 2017 So Far

Now that summer's in full swing, we're just a little past the midpoint of the year in record sales. So what's been hot at Amoeba? Our best sellers are a diverse mix, as always, with indie, pop, a killer soundtrack, metal, electronic, and hip-hop albums all posting up within the Top 20 CDs and LPs released in 2017 so far. Take a look at what has been flying off our shelves -- some of these probably won't be a surprise while still others may have slipped past your radar. You can expect to see many of these albums on critics' best-of lists at the end of the year!

Beach Fossils

20. Beach Fossils - Somersault

With every new record, it seems Beach Fossils have been continually evolving their indie/post-punk sound. Somersault, their latest, shows a band working at its fullest potential. The songs are lush and dreamy, thoughtful and warm. This is not the same band who was making angular, propulsive post-punk just a few years back — instead there’s a hazy, modern New Romantic meets shoegaze vibe, which gives the album a deeper, more emotional allure. This album is pure romantic pleasure.

Hip-Hop July 14 2017: Fresh Kid Ice, DJ Shadow, Brian Coleman, Shabazz Palaces, Missy Elliot, Mr. Lif, The Roots, Ozomatali +

Posted by Billyjam, July 14, 2017 07:59pm | Post a Comment

The Roots, who did a killer Amoeba Hollywood in-store a decade ago, headline a Bay Area show tonight at the Fox Theater. (2 Chainz will be at the same Uptown Oakland district venue on August 14th).  Just a couple of blocks nearby in this vibrant nightlife section of the East Bay city is another excellent show. At the New Parish tonight will be the "collective of Black-Chicano-Cuban-Japanese-Jewish-Filipino musicians" Ozomatali headlining a bill with Pasto Seco Band plus local longtime emcee El Kool Kyle. Yes, it's mid summer and therefore there's lots of great hip-hop events going on in the East Bay in both Oakland and Berkeley, as well as across the Bay Bridge in San Francisco. That's where The Roots' hardest working member, drummer and busy DJ Questlove will be jetting over to after his Oakland show tonight to do a DJ set at San Francisco's The Independent on Divisidaro following a set by DeeJay Theory. Speaking of deejays Bay Area legend DJ Shadow over past week unexpectedly dropped the impromptu (digital) 4 song EP The Mountain Has Fallen which is a sequel to his summer 2016 album The Mountain Will Fall (also on LP/vinyl). He'll no doubt be performing from both releases when he brings his ongoing tour this weekend to Berkeley's UC Theatre on Sunday July 16th with Bay Area turntablist DJ Teeko opening. Next month show to look forward to: Atmosphere, Dilated Peoples, and Brother Ali all play Berkeley's Greek Theatre on August 22nd.

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Watch The Buttertones Perform Live at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Amoebite, July 14, 2017 06:50pm | Post a Comment

The Buttertones Live at Amoeba Music

Amoeba Hollywood was excited to have local garage rockers The Buttertones live on stage performing songs from their latest record, Gravedigging, which is out now on Innovative Leisure. The quintet drew a rapt crowd as they tore through their surf and psychobilly influenced tunes.

The Buttertones GravediggingFirst up was "Pistol Whip," a mid-tempo, night-stalker of a song showcasing vocalist/guitarist Richard Araiza's David Byrne/Bryan Ferry-like vocals. Next was the manic "Sadie's A Sadist," featuring a Cramps-y guitar groove and some killer saxophone trills. "A Tear For Rosie," a dark ballad with staccato guitar and organ hits followed third, and ending the set was the titular track, "Gravediggin'" which begins with a chaotic muted "Peter Gunn" by way of "The Twilight Zone" guitar riff which suddenly drops down to a subdued groove with chilling, falsetto-accented vocals, before spinning back into the riff-y vortex.

Watch the performance below:

The Buttertones - Live at Amoeba Hollywood
Watch and comment on YouTube

Hip-Hop Rap Up 07:012:17: Jay-Z, RTJ, Kenny Dope, Logic, Snoop Dogg, Twista, Prodigy of Mobb Deep, Necro, Z-Ro, & Macklemore

Posted by Billyjam, July 12, 2017 10:37pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Hip-Hop Top 5 July 12 2017

1: Jay-Z 4:44 (Roc Nation)

2: Logic Everybody (also avail on vinyl/LP)  (Def Jam)

3: Snoop Dogg Neva Left (Doggystyle)

4: Z-Ro No Love Boulevard (1 Deep Entertainment) 

5: Twista Crook Country (CMG)


Kenny Dope "Cuckoo Clock" + "Crime Cut" 7"
             +   "Down By Law" / "Subway Beat" (7") (Kay Dee Records)

   Die! LP
             + Death Rap [Bonus Tracks] LP   ( Records)          

Jay-Z's 4:44 (Roc Nation), which is the number one hip-hop album at Amoeba this week, was officially released for sale Friday last (July 7, 2017) even though the album had actually been unveiled a week earlier via (Jay-Z's) Tidal streaming company as well as via Sprint, following a profitable deal he shrewdly signed with the corporation. That combined exposure of 4:44 resulted in the RIAA registering it platinum status two days in advance of its actual (traditional) "street date." As such the unprecedented move was yet another reminder of  just how radically the music business has switched up and changed in these ever-evolving digital days. Jay-Z's 4:44 (Roc Nation) has something in common with another chart entry above: Snoop Dogg's Neva Left (Doggystyle). Beyond both being by maturing hip-hop artists in a young man's game, each of the two artists shared the experience of been lambasted for losing their edge in reviews of previous recent era releases. In response, both artists set out to instantly defuse these negative impressions of their careers. Each address the haters on their respective albums' opening tracks in which they insist that they're neither washed up or irrelevant. 

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Deafheaven

Posted by Amoebite, July 11, 2017 01:26pm | Post a Comment

Deafheaven What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

Who knew Johnny Marr's soothing voice could lull you to sleep on a tour bus? At least that's what happened when Deafheaven's Kerry McCoy tried to listen to the audiobook of the famed Smiths guitarist's autobiography, Set The Boy Free. After repeatedly nodding off to the recording, McCoy picked up the hardcover book during a visit to Amoeba Hollywood, where he and bandmate George Clarke grabbed a healthy stack of records and books showcasing their influences.

San Francisco metal band Deafheaven was founded by singer George Clarke and guitarist Kerry McCoy in 2010. After releasing a demo, the band was signed to Deathwish Inc. Their debut, Roads to Judah, was released in 2011 and Deafheaven embarked on a packed touring schedule, with stops at Deafheaven New BermudaSXSW, Sound and Fury Festival, and support gigs for Russian Circles and KEN mode. They set off for Europe in 2012. Their breakthrough LP, Sunbather, arrived in 2013 and charted at #130 on the Billboard Top 200.

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NightLife LIVE 2017 Starts at SF's California Academy of Sciences on July 13th with Connan Mockasin

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 11, 2017 11:56am | Post a Comment

NightLife Live 2017 San Francisco

San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences continues to reinvent Thursday nights as their NightLife LIVE summer music series returns. Inspired by science and powered by sound, the Academy transforms itself into a 21+ oasis of music and art one night a month for NightLife LIVE 2017.

Connan Mockasin
Connan Mockasin

On Thursday, July 13th, the summer music series kicks off on the Academy’s outdoor stage with a night of lo-fi freaky psychedelic pop from New Zealand’s weird and whimsical Connan Mockasin and LA's Morgan Delt. And don't miss DJ sets from Chulita Vinyl Club.

Also featured are art installations all around and outside of the building, including trippy work by Santiago Insignares and Camilla Valdez, plus a “zome” dome by Zomadic. Make sure try out the NightLife signature cocktails and browse local vendors as you take in cutting-edge exhibits and 38,000 live animals in the world’s greenest museum!

Get your tix HERE, and RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook HERE.

DJs Doc Martin, Jeno, David Harness, Galen & Kincaid Revive NorCal Early 90's Full Moon Rave Parties

Posted by Billyjam, July 9, 2017 06:09pm | Post a Comment

In sync with tonight's full moon and this afternoon/evening's balmy East Bay July outdoor weather, Doc Martin and other veteran dance party DJs, who were part of the early 90's burgeoning SF Bay Area rave party including DJ icons Jeno and David Harness, will be reviving the legendary early 90's full moon parties with today's Waterfront Sessions: Full Moon Edition. The dance party, also featuring DJs Galen and Kincaid, is already underway and will be going til "late" down by Oakland's Jack London Square. There at Eve's Waterfront (15 Embarcadero)
the BPMs of the smokin' house grooves been spun will be gradually increase, picking up pace as the evening turns to night and the full moon comes into clear view about the Oakland Estuary. As the joint promoters of this new party series (Prismatic, Rouse Records and Sky Sundays) predict, today's party should revive the vibe and feel of the "Bonny Doon parties of the rave days of old, as we dance the day away into night under the full moon." While the DIY grassroots approach of those early era NorCal ravesof a quarter a century ago may have morphed into the comparatively controlled environment of parties like at Eve's tonight, the music and vibe promises to recapture that golden era of the fun rave parties in the Bay (that I was fortunate to be witness to) like the Full Moon parties and A Rave Called Sharon, The Gathering, Toon Town and of course Mr Floppy's Flophouse in Oakland - not too far from tonight's event. Fun times! Public transport to today's event include BART, AC Transit and the ferry to Jack London Square. 21+ Tix $20. More information.

Oakland Rapper Kamaiyah Fully Reppin' The Town in Video for "Build You Up" off Her Forthcoming Major Label Debut

Posted by Billyjam, July 7, 2017 02:21pm | Post a Comment

Hardworking and hella talented Oakland rapper Kamaiyah, now signed to Interscope Records with her major label debut slated for later this year, demonstrated her unwavering love for "The Town" (Oakland) with the unveiling yesterday of the 100% Oakland-proud music video for "Build You Up" (see below). The positive-message lyrically laden, uptempo, throwback, early nineties sounding song (complete with that era's raggamuffin rap breakdown and video with her + dancers donning 90's styled T-shirt logos) is a teaser of the born-in-the-nineties rapper's forthcoming Interscope full-length Don’t Ever Get It Twisted. That anticipated late 2017 release follows her acclaimed 2016 indie release, the impressive mixtape A Good Night in the Ghetto.

For the new Damien Sandoval directed, Interscope Records produced music video the dedicated Oakland artist insisted on keeping it local and in The Town with location shoots including MacArthur BART platform (pic above) as well as on the BART train, outside the Fox Theater in the Uptown district of Oakland, and by the Grand Lake Theatre over by Lake Merritt. On previous, pre-major label music videos by the artist, such as the Oakland shot "Fuck It Up (feat. YG)" and "I'm On" (featuring such Oakland locations as Uptown's The New Parish and East O's 99th Ave & MacArthur),  Kamaiyah's made a point of consistently and proudly featuring locations in her East Bay city. So major props to her for continuing this practice on her latest music video.

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Brian Eno Half Speed Vinyl Remasters Coming Soon

Posted by Amoebite, July 6, 2017 05:50pm | Post a Comment

Brian Eno Half Speed Remasters

Four of Brian Eno's pioneering early releases are getting served up as very special vinyl reissues on August 4th via Astralwerks. Remastered at half-speed by Miles Showell at Abbey Road, each of these limited edition releases consists of a 180-gram double-LP to be played at 45RPM. You can pre-order them now at Kicking things off is Eno's 1974 solo debut, Here Come the Warm Jets. The reissue series ends with 1977’s Before and After Science.

Here's why each of these albums earned "legendary" status.

Another Green World

Another Green World

On Eno's third solo LP, he began moving away from his earlier, more rock-based sound, instead experimenting further with ambient soundscapes and synth-oriented minimalism. Produced by Eno and Rhett Davies, Another Green World features contributions from Robert Fripp, John Cale, and Phil Collins

July Events at Amoeba SF & Berkeley

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 6, 2017 12:46pm | Post a Comment

The Summer of Love is in full swing in the Bay Area, and Amoeba SF and Amoeba Berkeley are keeping it packed with sales, live shows, and in-store events all month long. Check HERE for more details and updates to our live show schedule.

Amoeba SF, Amoeba Berkeley

Rest in Peace Pierre Henry: French Experimental / Classical Composer, Musique Concrète Pioneer, & "Grandfather of Techno"

Posted by Billyjam, July 6, 2017 12:35pm | Post a Comment

Renowned, universally revered French experimental, avant garde, classical composer, pioneer of musique concrète, and "grandfather of techno" Pierre Henry  has died at 89 years of age, it has been reported by various French media outlets including the Agence France-Presse (AFP).  A prolific composer who’s scored films, ballets and other pieces in a variety of styles, Henry is most known for his pioneering role in the development of musique concrète and perhaps most commonly known for his 1960's three minute piece "Psyche Rock" that was utilized in the 1969 film Z, remixed by Fatboy Slim in 2004, and the inspiration for the theme music for Futurama.  In today's AFP's report on the passing of the artist, who would have turned 90 later this year, the French news agency quoted fellow French music composer and friend-of-Amoeba Jean-Michel Jarre in saying that Henry Pierre, whom he considered an influence, was an "innovator" and "poet" with his legacy being bringing, "a fusion between experimentation and poetry."  In recognition of the late artist's "enormous and impressive body of work" Jarre told the AFP that he hopes, "France grants him the homage that he deserves."

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Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood Saturday, July 15

Posted by Amoebite, July 6, 2017 11:22am | Post a Comment

Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood

Amoeba Hollywood is having a Sidewalk Sale on Saturday, July 15th! It's your chance to score huge deals on music, movies, books, comics, posters and more, right outside the store from 12pm - 4pm.

Check out some of the bargains you'll find at our sidewalk sale:

  • DVD box sets: $4 each or 2 for $7
  • DVDs: $2 each or 3 for $5
  • Blu-ray: $4 each or 3 for $10
  • CDs: buy 1 get 1 free [of equal or lesser value]
  • Posters: $2 each or 3 for $5
  • T-shirts for $5
  • Great deals on books!
  • $1 LPs & much more!

Come out and treat yourself to some inexpensive new movies and music from Amoeba!

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.

See the full list of July events happening at Amoeba Hollywood.

Sidewalk Sale at Amoeba Hollywood

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Bob Weir

Posted by Amoebite, July 4, 2017 04:57pm | Post a Comment

Bob Weir What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

"I'd totally forgotten about Bessie Smith until a few nights back," Bob Weir told us during a recent visit to Amoeba Hollywood. A few nights beforehand, Weir was accompanying country/folk legend Ramblin' Jack Elliot at a club in Mill Valley, CA and the two played a couple of her tunes. "Oh, that's right," mused Weir, "these songs are great...she really had something going back then." Before his in-store performance to promote his latest solo album, Blue Mountain, Weir grabbed a compilation of Smith recordings, as well as some other great picks that had a lot of meaning to him.

Bob Weir Blue Mountain Bob Weir is a guitarist, singer-songwriter, and founding member of the Grateful Dead. While still a teenager, he encountered Jerry Garcia playing guitar at a music store; he sat down and played some songs with Garcia and the pair decided to form a band together. Over the course of the Dead's thirty years, Weir played rhythm guitar, sang a significant portion of the band's non-Garcia lead vocals, and experimented with slide guitar. He released his first solo LP, Ace, in 1972. The other members of the Dead served as his backing band. Six years later, he released his sophomore solo album, Heaven Help the Fool. His next solo album came almost four decades later; Blue Mountain was released in 2016.

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The Mad Alchemy Trip 2017 West Coast Tour

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 4, 2017 03:15pm | Post a Comment

Mad Alchemy Trip Tour 2017

LSD and the Search for God
LSD and the Search for God
Jesus Sons
Jesus Sons
The Asteroid No. 4
The Asteroid No. 4

Commemorate the 50-year anniversary of the Summer of Love with one of San Francisco's original trip-inducers! Amoeba Music is proud to sponsor the 2017 Mad Alchemy Trip tour, which will hit major cities and groovy clubs along the West Coast July 12 - July 22nd. Fantastic psych-inspired bands The Asteroid No. 4, LSD and the Search for God, The Stevenson Ranch Davidians, Jesus Sons, Dream Phases, Creatures Choir, and Family of Light Band will be accompanied by the mesmerizing projection work of the Mad Alchemy Liquid Light Show, making for a sensory experience that cannot be missed.

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Get Reel at Amoeba SF! Huge Reel-to-Reel Acquisition in Store Now.

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 3, 2017 07:29pm | Post a Comment

Reet-to-Reel tape

If you own a reel-to-reel tape player, then you know that the sound quality of the format is stellar. There'sReel-to-reel tape a reason Lady Gaga's Joanne was partially recorded on reel-to-reel.

Come to Amoeba San Francisco and expand (or start) your reel-to-reel collection today! We've acquired over 100 titles and all are in good condition. A few are even still sealed! We've got Classic Rock, Jazz, Soul, Classical, and more, and it all comes with our Amoeba guarantee against defect.

Some Soul highlights include: James Brown's Cold Sweat, the Marvelettes, The Dells, and Diana Ross.

Jazz: Charles Mingus, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, and Chico Hamilton.

Rock: George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh, Moody Blues, Electric Flag, Electric Prunes, and Eric Burdon & the Animals.

Blues: Etta James, Bobby Bland, Junior Parker, and Little Milton.

Top-tier Classical: many recordings from RCA's Living Stereo series, Mercury's Living Presence series, and London's FFRR (Full Frequency Range Recording) series.

Concert Tickets Available at Amoeba Hollywood July 2017

Posted by Amoebite, July 3, 2017 02:13pm | Post a Comment

Concert Tickets For Sale at Amoeba HollywoodAmoeba Hollywood regularly sells tickets to local shows. Get physical tickets from us and skip the high fees!

All tickets can be purchased at the registers (while supplies last) for a $3 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. 

We have a new partnership with Teragram Ballroom, an intimate venue in downtown LA. We are the only place in town to buy physical tickets (aside from the venue itself). We'll have a small amount of tickets for every Teragram show available the day they are announced on a first-come, first-served basis with our low $3 ticket service fee.

For The Novo (formerly Club Nokia) and Shrine Expo Hall shows, we only carry general admission tickets. If you wish to purchase reserved seating at The Novo (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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Iggy Pop Is The Man, As Proven by the 70 Year Old's Energetic Closing Set At Oakland's Burger Boogaloo Festival

Posted by Billyjam, July 2, 2017 05:47pm | Post a Comment

Iggy Pop is the man! This the "godfather of punk" swiftly proved just minutes into last night's hard rocking, energetic closing set at Day 1 of the fun Burger Boogaloo festival: the annual Oakland music festival at Mosswood Park with host John Waters that winds down this evening by 10pm with final performances from such artists as X, the Buzzcocks, and Roy Loney of The Flamin' Groovies fame.  [more info on Burger Boogalooo]. Displaying the level of raw power passion that he began his career with five plus decades ago, the phenomenally fit long hair-haired and shirtless 70 year old paced the stage for a crowd-pleasing, fast-paced set that drew from his deep back catalog of rock classics. 

Backed by a tight ass band and a perfect sound mix, Iggy delighted the packed Oakland crowd with a generous set, effortlessly running through pitch perfect renditions of such classics of his as "I Wanna Be Your Dog," "The Passenger" and "Lust for Life." 

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Grand Performances: Free Concerts this July in DTLA

Posted by Amoebite, July 2, 2017 04:46pm | Post a Comment

Grand Performances in downtown LA

Ricardo Lemvo
Ricardo Lemvo

Grand Performances presents high-quality music, dance, theater, and more at California Plaza in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. For 30 years, Grand Performances has delivered the best of global culture to inspire community among the diverse peoples of Los Angeles, and reflect the many cultural interests across the region.

This July brings a full line-up of top-notch shows. Visit us at the Amoeba booth and spin the prize wheel to score Amoeba swag and gift certificates! We will be attending the following events:

Saturday, July 15, 8pm:
Sway to silvery guitar riffs and deep polyrhythms by L'Orchestre Afrisa International with special guest Ricardo Lemvo. Embodying the Afro-Latin Diaspora, Lemvo blends his Afro-Cuban rhythms with pan-African styles (soukous, Angolan semba, and kizomba) to create an amazing package of music with L’Orchestre Afrisa International. Info.

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Summer-centric Cinema List: Amusement Parks in the Movies!

Posted by Kells, July 1, 2017 11:17pm | Post a Comment
Greetings thrill-seekers and family fun-loving Amoeblog readers! Summer's officially here for half the planet which means it's amusement park season. Whether you get your kicks at a globally branded monolith of a theme park or bravely risk those rickety rides at your local fairgrounds, I heartily recommend everyone indulge an amusement park interlude before Summer's end. If you can't make it happen, don't let the dog days get you down—let the movies take you there! Here's a fat list* of fifteen flicks featuring amusement park themes and scenes for your Summer-centric movie marathon consideration. Feel free to let me know if you think I missed anything essential and keep in mind that some of these titles may be found in used condition in our stores, perhaps in VHS format for all you tapeheads out there. Check the links to our online store or give us a call to see if we have what you're looking for and we'll do our best to hook you up. Now, hold on to your butts and enjoy ride!

Rollercoaster (1977)

With a story that plays out like proto-Die Hard script with somewhat made-for-TV production values, Rollercoaster is a "disaster movie" era thriller that may have fallen through the cracks of time (which is completely understandable given that, box office-wise, it had the likes of Star Wars and Smokey and the Bandit to contend with), but is nevertheless worth watching for the quality and quantity of its amusement park footage. Filmed extensively at Six Flags Magic Mountain (Valencia, CA), King's Dominion (Doswell, VA), and the now defunct Ocean View Park (Norfolk, VA), it's arguable that shot-for-shot this flick packs more visual theme park punches than any other film. What's more, the band Sparks makes a cameo appearance near the end of the movie that lasts long enough to include two songs ("Big Boy" and "Fill-er-up" off Big Beat (1976). Apparently Sparks agreed to appear after KISS turned down the gig, however, fun fact: KISS went on to film KISS Meets The Phantom of the Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain a year later (#choices). Anyway, if you've been to these parks and long for days of yore, or if you fancy suspenseful depictions of thrill ride terrorist acts, and/or Sparks, Rollercoaster is the movie for you!

Little Fugitive (1953)

This influential and critically acclaimed nugget of naturalistic cinema is a wonder in many respects, but the main attraction is Coney Island as captured in glorious grayscale by photographers/directors Ruth Orkin, Morris Engel, and Ray Ashley. Starring an unknown Richie Andrusco in the title role, the little fugitive of Little Fugitive follows the adventures of a runaway described by the film's trailer as a "sportsman, gourmet, slugger extraordinary...the kid who's got a sharp eye for the odd chance, a quick hand for a fast buck" as he wanders out to Coney Island on his own. "From the gasping heights of the Parachute Drop to the secrets that hide under the boardwalk," it's easy to lose yourself in the enchanting spontaneity and bumbling pace of this film as it delivers on it's promises of depicting "a revelation of life and love where there's more of it per square inch than anyplace else in the world" with refreshing and memorable potency. It is the stuff of vicarious, atmospheric, amusement park magic.

40 Pounds of Trouble  (1962)

This is not a Disney™ film, but the vintage Disney footage is without a doubt the main reason anyone should suffer this fluff. Roughly twenty minutes of the film’s running time plays like a dedicated full color commercial extravaganza featuring Disneyland as it existed once upon a dream...of the early 1960s. Though purists will likely be plucked by elements added for the sake of hamming up the park’s presence in the film, and feathers rightly ruffled over certain cringe-inducing aspects inherent to Disneyland attractions of yore, the footage provides a marvelous whirlwind tour of what is arguably the world’s most iconic amusement park, the way it mostly was, for the ages. Oh! Also, during this Disneyland detour there is a movie going on and, eh, it's alright. Tony Curtis and Suzanne Pleshette are looking particularly fine in the film and there are some additional fun-to-see scenes shot around Lake Tahoe and in Harrah’s Lake Club, but as soon as the Disneyland portion of the picture monorails into view be prepared to gag on a grab bag of vintage Disney-flavored visual candy enchantments while the movie’s plot desperately tries to assert its relevance. 

Breaking All the Rules (1985)

This may be a forgotten panties-over-the-fishnets Canadian teen boner comedy with hairstyle continuity issues starring unknown actors like Carolyn Dunn and Thor Bishopric, but who cares when the story is all about two guys and two girls who meet each other's desperation at an amusement park on the last day of Summer (played by La Ronde, Quebec's largest and Canada's second largest amusement park, still in operation today). The aforementioned panties serve as a bit of a plot device, and there is also this Scooby Doo-esque jewel heist subplot the four teens get mixed up in during their couple-swapping misadventures, which maybe sounds lame, but—dammit—it's fun! Plus, the lengthy day-to-night amusement park parts of the film are colorful and chock full of real Canadian mid-80s silhouettes lending the perfect backdrop for the film's mischief-making and Paul Zaza's synth-driven soundtrack and titular theme song.


Both Night Tide (1961) and Carnival of Souls (1962) possess distinct visual facets that embrace the notion of amusement parks as spellbound centers where the strange and otherworldly congregate, luring impressionable outsiders into their mysterious confines with suspicious intentions. And both films are anchored by powerfully enigmatic leading ladies—one a mythic beauty (Linda Lawson) who attracts an outsider (a smokin' hot Dennis Hopper) to enter her amusement park domain (portrayed by Ocean Park Pier and Santa Monica Pier) and the other, an haunted outsider (Candace Hilligoss) who strays into an abandoned amusement park that seems to beckon to her (actually the crumbling remnants of Saltair Pavilion in Salt Lake City, also once called the Coney Island of the West). Featuring beatnik jazz, beach bongos, church organ and plenty of screams, consider pairing these together for a reality vs. the unknown battle of dark amusement park movies.

The Even More Fun Trip (2007)

Featured in McSweeney's Wholphin No. 7 (their "DVD magazine of rare and unseen short films"), this animated documentary short directed by Bob Sabiston, the rotoscope animator behind Richard Linklater’s Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly, centers around a group of friends making a return trip to Six Flags Fiesta Texas. One of the people in this group, Ryan Power–a young man with autism, is unflagging in his enthusiasm for this excursion and for the duration of the film he  compares this "even more fun trip" to Fiesta Texas with the trip they enjoyed three years prior, verbally marking each difference and similarity relentlessly. Power's focused impressions and tenacious oversharing blends all too well with the amusement park setting and the ever-shifting psychedelic animation Sabiston cloaks this home movie in, making the overall viewing experience feel not unlike a warped thrill ride in and of itself.

The Lost Boys (1987)

For a Peter Pan-inspired vampire biker gang horror-comedy with a cast featuring the Coreys and other 80s faves, The Lost Boys has aged well in accordance with its "never grow old" credo. The timelessness of the film has everything to do with the fictional, sleepy "murder capital of the world" beach town setting created for the movie, Santa Carla, CA (played by Santa Cruz, CA), it's freak magnet beach boardwalk amusement park (played by the amazing and well worth visiting Santa Cruz Boardwalk), and its local comic book store (played by Atlantis Fantasy World which is still in biz btw, ask them for a copy of Vampires Everywhere and you won't be disappointed). Without these innately cool and very real backdrops, the film might drag under the weight of its contrived situations, clunky dialogue, and other absurdities (cue beefy saxman Tim Cappello's greased-up unchained live performance of "I Still Believe" that provides a means for the pivotal boy-spots-meets scene), however, The Lost Boys would probably remain enduring classic because vampires.

My Lucky Stars (1985)

Given all the situations, settings, and support a world class stunt comedian like Jackie Chan has employed throughout his distinguished career, it seems inevitable that an amusement park movie would be among his "been there, done that" accomplishments. The second in a series of five Lucky Stars films, My Lucky Stars follows undercover cop Muscles (Chan) alongside his good buddy Kidstuff (played by director Sammo Hung) and the three others in their "Lucky Stars" gang as they travel to an amusement park in Japan (Fuji-Q Highland, still in operation) to sock it to some Yakuza thugs at the behest of the Hong Kong Police. Culminating in some acrobatic action featuring a ferris wheel and some fun fight scenes involving ninjas and ghosts within the mobster's lair, which happens to be awesomely located deep inside a haunted funhouse type of dark ride, the loose and ludicrous story gives the ensemble cast plenty of fodder for their infamous blend of martial arts and rowdy, raucous comedy which is all anyone could wish for in a Jackie and company production.

The New Kids (1985)

This horror/thriller, the third amusement park movie from 1985 to make this list, tells the tale of teenage siblings (played by Lori Loughlin and Shannon Presby) who, after enduring a family tragedy, move in with their uncle Charlie (Eddie Jones) who operates a homespun Christmas-themed roadside amusement park and gas station in central Florida called Santa's Funland. Sounds pretty great, right? Well, one thing leads to another and the two "new kids" find themselves the targets of relentless harassment by a local druggy hick (James Spader) and his shit-kickin' henchemen (John Philbin and Vince Grant, to name just two). These focused disturbances of the peace eventually involve their family and love interests (played by Eric Stoltz and Paige Lyn Price), culminating in a revenge-fueled, drawn out night fight within the confines of Funland, the lighthearted family-friendly setting thrown in sharp contrast with the "bloodbath" finale. As one of the films' taglines states, "The kids learned three things about southern hospitality, blood, sweat and terror!"


Are you team Robotic Cowboys or team Dinosaur Clones? Watching these two together may be the only way to find out. Both Westworld (1973) and Jurassic Park (1993) come from the brilliant, twisted mind of novelist (and suspected theme park junkie) Michael Critchon, and both stories focus on fantastic yet somewhat plausible amusement parks that seem too-good-to-be true in the eyes of both their guests and hosts until a series of tragic malfunctions renders each a trap zone of localized crises with no possibility of escape? No spoilers, but if you haven't seen both of these bonafide blockbusters yet what are you waiting for? 

Big (1988)

Arcades n' games have always been part and parcel of any great amusement park experience, and Big makes big use of that fact to inject an essential dose of fantasy into this Tom Hanks-driven comedy that remains as fresh and endearing as the day it hit theaters. The film begins with a young Josh Baskin (David Moscow) enjoying a night out with his family at a carnival style amusement park until he spots Cynthia Benson, an older girl he fancies, in line for a thrill ride called Ring of Fire. With a spurt of sudden desperation to ditch his folks and impress his crush, he attempts to board the same ride only to be told he isn't tall enough. Humiliated, he puts a coin into a creepy antique fortune teller game called Zoltar Speaks (the real star of the film?) and makes a wish to be "big." From there the story sets off with Hanks takes the wheel, encountering memorable performances by Robert Loggia, Elizabeth Perkins, and Jon Lovitz along the way. Games and amusements further figure into the picture by the film's resolution with pivotal scenes featuring Rye Playland Park (Rye, NY).

Adventureland (2007)

Depending on your tolerance for "cool" soundtrack comedies featuring overgrown adolescents and any connections to either Jud Apatow, SNL, or The State, Adventureland is likely one of those movies that, at first glance, is immediately embraced with interest or completely dismissed by those who consider themselves in the know, or whatever. While it falls into the "cool" soundtrack movie zone, it is hardly a comedy and, as far as the overgrown adolescents go, the heart and substance portrayed in the film's relationships are surprisingly relatable. More importantly, the film takes place at the titular amusement park (played by Kennywood of West Mifflin, PA) and enjoyably explores the sights, sounds, and social structures of such a place as a shitty but fun work environment. The decidedly 80s tint may be heavy-handed, but the music (not always for the sake of the "cool" soundtrack—folks of a certain age may recall that one Summer ruled by Falco's "Rock Me Amadeus") and the fashion (obviously hip kids getting to work the Music Express while the freaks thanklessly man the Games) works pleasantly well for the flavor of this film rendering it palatable compared to others like it.

National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)

As far as amusement park movies go this one is an essential, maybe even the quintessential, example. It’s got everything: a John Hughes script packed with memorable quotes, first-rate comedic actors serving white-bread, middle-America family realness under Harold Ramis’ direction, Lindsey Buckingham’s hit soundtrack jammer Holiday Road," and, of course, a story that anyone can relate to—the excitement and anticipation of a road trip to a mega-theme park, in this case Walley World (a Disney-inspired fictional park played by a heavily embellished Six Flags Magic Mountain).  It's a "what could go wrong?" gone so right kind of movie.

Personally speaking, there are two crystalline moments in this film that ring too real with me: the slo-mo, “Chariots of Fire” sprint to the entrance of Walley World, and Clark Griswold's (Chevy Chase) fun-bully freak out retort, “This is no longer a vacation. It's a quest. It's a quest for fun. I’m gonna have fun and you're gonna have fun. We're all gonna have so much fucking fun we're gonna need plastic surgery to remove our goddamn smiles! You'll be whistling 'Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah' out of your assholes!” Perfection. 

*I hope you've enjoyed the ride! Please note: this post isn't a "top" or "best of" list ranking movie picks from good to greatest. Of all the Summer cinema themes that come immediately to mind, amusement park movies rate below Summer camp movies, beach movies, and party movies (pool or otherwise), and you don't have to dig very far into amusement park film fodder before things begin to get barely watchable (see: Beverly Hills Cop III. Or, don't see it). As such, I referred to my inner theme park junky and chose enjoyable films that I feel successfully capture the vibe, light, motion, and overall appeal of amusement parks showcased as a setting or story (while trying not to overthink things too much).