Amoeblog

Decades Later In A Still Divided America, A Look Back At Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have A Dream" Speech + Top 5 MLK Tribute Tracks

Posted by Billyjam, January 21, 2019 01:14pm | Post a Comment

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr."I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character"


- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

from his  "I Have A Dream" speech at The March On Washington" 1963






56 six years ago Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous "I Have A Dream" speech  (scroll down for video excerpt) from the landmark March On Washington on August 28, 1963. The historic speech by the iconic American civil rights leader, who was assassinated at age 39 and whose legacy is celebrated today with a national holiday, is considered a watershed in modern American history. As such it is constantly quoted and referenced, along with other King speeches, as a defining point of change in American politics. Over the decades countless honorable references (and musical tributes - see music videos below with link to purchase albums from Amoeba) have been made to this MLK speech; one with a message that becomes even more profoundly pertinent in 2019.
 

In addition to the all the accurate references to "I Have A Dream" and to MLK's message, there have also been many instances of it been quoted but taken out of context only to be used as a cheap political talking point. The most recent and most egregious abuse/misuse of MLK's words were heard over the weekend when Vice President Mike Pence, in a surreal televised appearance to support his boss's border wall, referenced "I Have A Dream"  quoting the speech's "Now is the time to make real the promises for democracy." and even comparing Trump to MLK insisting that 45 is similarly using the legislative process to solve social problems. 

Not surprisingly since the VP made this surreal comparison on Face The Nation (CBS) yesterday morning there has been an outcry in the news and on social media by everyone from politicians to surviving 1960's American civil rights activists and even the son of MLK. Earlier today in Washington DC during a breakfast gathering honoring his father, who referenced him and his three siblings in his famous speech, Martin Luther King III strongly criticized the comparison of 45 to MLK. "Love, not hate, will make America great,'” said the community activist and human rights advocate who was only ten when his 39 year old father was assassinated in Memphis TN on April 4th 1968.

Toy Sale at Amoeba SF, 1/25-1/27

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 17, 2019 04:03pm | Post a Comment

The toys and collectibles department at Amoeba San Francisco is fully stocked with those hard-to-find and rare fan favorite items you've been searching for your entire life! For ONE weekend only, it will ALL go on sale!

That's right. Starting Friday, January 25th, all new and used toys, collectibles, and games (excluding video games) at Amoeba SF will be a whopping 20% off! Sale ends Sunday, January 27th.

Don't miss this shopportunity for fun!

Toy Sale at Amoeba SF

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Death Valley Girls

Posted by Amoebite, January 16, 2019 04:23pm | Post a Comment

Death Valley Girls - What's In My Bag?

LA psych/garage rockers Death Valley Girls sat down with us at Amoeba Hollywood to talk about some excellent music, movie, and book discoveries in our latest What's In My Bag? episode. It was a pleasure having the band here, especially guitarist Larry Schemel, who is a former Amoebite. Death Valley Girls fuse elements of garage, psych, and post-punk in their own music, and their picks definitely reflected that. Schemel, along with lead singer Bonnie Bloomgarden and drummer Laura Harris, explored punk, psych, and garage rock with assistance from Numero Group and Soul Jazz compilations, Wayne Kramer's memoir, and a groundbreaking documentary.

Founded in 2013, the current DVG lineup Death Valley Girls - Darkness Rainsconsists of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Bloomgarden, guitarist Schemel, bassist Alana Amram, and drummer Laura Harris. Their first release, 2014's Street Venom was a cassette-only album put out via Burger Records. Their sophomore LP, Glow in the Dark (Burger Records), landed in 2016. In 2018, Death Valley Girls released their brooding third LP, Darkness Rains via Suicide Squeeze. The album features a rotating cast of guest artists, including Shannon Lay, Laura Kelsey plus members of The Make-Up, The Shivas, and Moaning. The video for single “Disaster (Is What We’re After)” featured the legendary Iggy Pop eating a hamburger. Death Valley Girls are set to embark on a lengthy UK and European tour starting in February 2019.

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Having A Movie Moment with Jon Longhi: The Genius of Dan Curtis

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 15, 2019 07:00pm | Post a Comment

By Jon Longhi

Welcome to this month’s Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi, where I review recent Blu-ray Trilogy of Terrorreleases. This month I review three movies created by the brilliant Dan Curtis.

Dan Curtis was one of the most successful director/producers in the history of television. History will always remember him as the creator of the long running TV show Dark Shadows but that was just one of many major achievements. He also produced and/or directed some of the biggest movies in the history of television. Three of these films just got deluxe Blu-ray releases. One of his two biggest films was Trilogy Of Terror, (Kino Lorber Studio Classics). This is a fun little horror flick but no one could have predicted that it would be one of the most watched TV movies of all time. It held the record until Roots was televised later that decade. The movie tells three horror stories that are connected by the main star of the film, the magnificent Karen Black. She pretty much makes this movie. She is the main character in all three vignettes and chews up the scenery so mightily that everyone else in the picture is little more than a bit player. In the first segment she plays a mousy professor exploited by a blackmailer, in the second she's a pair of polar opposite sisters, but it's her role in the third segment, "Amelia," that history will remember her for. "Amelia" is one of the best little horror movies ever made and it scared the viewing public to a degree that few could understand in this jaded day and age. Karen Black's portrayal of the vulnerable, psychologically fragile Amelia makes the horror she suffers even more visceral. The story is fairly simple and all takes place in one tiny apartment. Amelia finds a Zuni fetish doll in a second hand store and buys it as a gift for her anthropologist boyfriend. The doll comes with a curse and, when she gets back to her apartment, Amelia unwittingly brings it to life. What ensues is one of the scariest things I've ever seen on television. This segment really holds up even after all these years. It's tense, harrowing, and genuinely scary. Being attacked by a doll could easily have been laughable, but in Curtis's skilled hands the story becomes utterly terrifying. This was one of the most memorable movies of the seventies and it left an indelible mark on everyone who saw it.

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Top 10 Under The Radar Artists of 2018 To Watch in 2019, Top 5 Slept On LPs, Hip-Hop Hater Of The Year + [Best of 2018 Hip-Hop Pt 4]

Posted by Billyjam, January 15, 2019 06:26pm | Post a Comment
2018 Hip-Hop Hater of The Year



Following Best of 2018 Hip-Hop Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 is this fourth and final year-in-review Amoeblog that includes the Top 10 2018 Artists To Watch For in 2019,  the Top 5 Slept-On LPs (vinyl), Top 5 Slept On Recording Artists, the Most Influential Sociopolitical Music Video, and the Hip-Hop Hater of the Year. As pictured above, the honors for the latter go to Vladimir Putin who recently made it clear that he does not appreciate hip-hop with an anti-establishment message. At the end of 2018 news reports surfaced  of the Russian president cracking taking action against hip-hop music, saying that it needs to be state controlled. 

Reportedly popular Russian hip-hop artist Husky, known for his revolutionary anti-establishment lyrics, irked Putin and others in power and brought about the rap backlash. Following one of his concerts been 
 cancelled at last minute Husky took to the streets to perform atop a parked car to his throngs of fans. Police moved in and arrested and threw him in jail for ten days. In a statement Putin said that rap music was bad for Russian culture due to its promotion of such things as “sex drugs" and "protest.”

SF Sketchfest Presents Reggie Watts & John Tejada, Jonathan Coulton, Rhett Miller, The Milk Carton Kids & More

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 10, 2019 06:35pm | Post a Comment

SF Sketchfest

The San Francisco comedy festival SF Sketchfest is back for its 18th year and runs January 10-27th at venues around the City. Amoeba Music is proud to co-present five stellar musical events:

 
Jonathan Coulton. Paul & Storm.
Rhett Miller
Greg Behrendt
Milk Carton Kids
 

Wajatta: Reggie Watts & John Tejada, with Galen & Solar from Sunset Sound System
Friday, January 11 • 9pm @ Mezzanine (444 Jessie St, SF)
Tickets
Wajatta – the new group formed by beat-boxer/comedian/musician Reggie Watts and electronic music artist/DJ/producer John Tejada recently released its debut album, Casual High Technology. Presented as a cosmic collection of funk-infused techno, Casual High Technology is the culmination of decades’ worth of Watts and Tejada’s favorite electronic music shaped to fit a new dance sensibility. Wajatta (pronounced wa-Ha-ta), as the name suggests, is a mash-up of the artist’s last names. Having grown up with similar musical influences, Austrian-born Tejada and German-born Watts draw from their love of urban, electronic music. With an opening set by Galen & Solar from Sunset Sound System. $30, 21+

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Best of 2018 Hip-Hop Part 3: Top 10 Veteran Hip-Hop Artists + Top 15 Essential Hip-Hop Vinyl Reissues + Top Turntablist Project

Posted by Billyjam, January 9, 2019 06:24pm | Post a Comment
Top 10 Veteran Hip-Hop Artists of 2018

 #10 Bukue One

In 2018 longtime East Bay underground hip-hop multi-talent Bukue One (known for his solo work and collaborating with such other artists as  Del The Funky Homosapien) continued to his decades deep unwavering commitment to all elements of hip-hop culture. Truly a modern day bboy with an educator-meets-entrepreneurial sensibility, the forward thinking Bay Area artist has long embraced such elements as emceeing, producing and graffiti writing. Among his aerosol art pieces over the past year was the above pictured tribute to Oakland.  "The Town" dedicated piece can be seen on the long shuttered, former Casper's building located where Shattuck and Telegraph Avenues merge near 45th Street in Oakland. The photo captures just one section of a much larger vibrant piece that wraps around the building that was done in late 2018 by the respected longtime b-boy and sometime skateboarder. As such Bukue-One is #10 in the countdown list of Top 10 Veteran Hip-Hop Acts which is a subjective lis that gives props to veteran hip-hop acts (20+ years in the art form) whom in 2018 continued to display creativity and commitment to various aspects of hip-hop music and culture. This top ten list is followed below by both the Top 15 Essential Hip-Hop Vinyl Reissues and the Top Turntablist Project.

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

Posted by Amoebite, January 8, 2019 05:33pm | Post a Comment

Interpol - What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

We kicked off 2019 and our first What's In My Bag? episode of Season 12 with New York indie legends Interpol! The trio went shopping at Amoeba Hollywood recently and chatted with us about some of their favorite records and movies, including Peter Weir's Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. Apparently the 19th century naval adventure/drama made such an impression on lead vocalist Paul Banks that he maybe, possibly got a tattoo inspired by the film. All three members had a lot of heartfelt and entertaining things to say about their eclectic picks, which ranged from Bad Brains to Roy Orbison and from Aphex Twin to Jesu.

The quintessential NYC indie band, Interpol consists of vocalist/guitarist Banks, guitarist/backing vocalist Daniel Kessler, and drummer Sam Fogarino. Initially formed in 1997, the group self-released Interpol - Marauder - Amoeba Musica series of EPs, and after a brief UK tour in 2001, performed on John Peel's BBC Radio program. Around this time, the band signed to Matador, who released their self-titled EP prior to the release of the critically-acclaimed, career-making 2002 full-length Turn on the Bright Lights. Interpol's sophomore LP, Antics, was released in 2004, reaching gold status on both the US and UK charts and earning them slots performing with the likes of U2 and The Cure. By 2007, the band had signed to major label Columbia for the release of their third LP, Our Love to Admire.

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Free Ticket to See 'The Wall' with Purchase of Any 2 Pink Floyd Enamel Pins at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Amoebite, January 7, 2019 11:56am | Post a Comment

Pink Floyd The Wall Wiltern Rockin Pins

Our friends at Rockin Pins are sponsoring an upcoming screening of Pink Floyd: The Wall in Los Angeles and are giving you the chance to see this film for free! Buy any 2 Pink Floyd enamel pins in-store only at Amoeba Hollywood and get a free ticket to see The Wall at the Wiltern on Friday, January 25, 2019 (while supplies last). 

Pink Floyd: The Wall is a 1982 British live-action/animated musical drama film directed by Alan Parker with animated segments by political cartoonist Gerald Scarfe. Based on the 1979 Pink Floyd album of the same name, the film centers around a confined rocker named Pink, who, after being driven into insanity by the death of his father and many depressive moments during his lifetime, constructs a metaphorical (and sometimes physical) wall to be protected from the world and emotional situations around him. When this coping mechanism backfires, he puts himself on trial and sets himself free. The screenplay was written by Pink Floyd vocalist and bassist Roger Waters.

Rock on Film Series is a salute to the singers, writers and musicians who have created the poetry of our time at The Wiltern. Inspired by Bill Graham’s 18-day "Rock on Film" festival at The Wiltern in 1987, the folks at the Wiltern are bringing the legacy back to where it started.

This screening is all ages. A full bar for 21+ attendees and concessions will also be available for purchase. More info about the event here.

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Best of 2018 Hip-Hop Pt 2: Top 35 Albums, Top 5 Delayed Vinyl Issues, Most Streamed Artist, Top 10 Top Paid Acts, Top 5 Googled

Posted by Billyjam, January 6, 2019 06:23pm | Post a Comment
 

Ice Cube
, pictured above at his Amoeba Hollywood in-store meet-and-greet in celebration of his new album Everythangs Corrupt, appears in two year in review lists including under in Best of 2018 Hip-Hop Pt 4 in the Top 10 Veteran Hip-Hop Acts category as well as in the Top 35 Albums list below on this Best of Hip-Hop Pt 2 Amoeblog.  Also below is this more commercially popular Best of 2018 are most streamed artist, top five most Googled artists, and the ten top money earning hip-hop artists of the past year. And what a year it was for the genre; one that thrives on different levels. On one end of the hip-hop spectrum there's legions of underground emcees and producers toiling away in near obscurity, while on the other end popular hip-hop artists are omnipresent pop cultural figures. Hence in 2018 when Cardi B and Nicki Minaj got into a fight at Fashion week, or when Mac Miller died of an accidental overdose, or when XXXTentacion was murdered in Miami, these all became mainstream stories reported alongside the political news headlines of the day.    

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Noir City 17: Film Noir In The 1950s, January 25 - February 3

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 6, 2019 05:57pm | Post a Comment

Noir City 17, San Francisco

Dive into NOIR CITY 17 at San Francisco's historic Castro Theatre January 25-February 3 to Trappedexperience (through a lens, darkly) the 1950s -- a turbulent and transitional time in American history, culture, and cinema. Nothing would ever be the same. Film Noir Foundation president and the man known internationally as the "Czar of Noir," not to mention the host of Turner Classic Movies' popular weekly series Noir Alley, Eddie Muller, will once again lead audiences on a ten-night excursion through "Hollywood's only organic artistic movement." Strap in for danger, desire, and despair!

This year's program extends last year's chronological pairings of "A" and "B" from the 1940s into the 1950s, offering viewers a slate of films that track noir through the declining studio system and into a fresh cinematic landscape where noir was refashioned, both subtly and radically, for a new generation.

“I call it curated time-travel," says Muller. "We start out in the classic era at the peak of the noir movement and with each successive show we move relentlessly toward revolution—a 1960 double bill of Psycho and Breathless, two movies that effectively changed noir, and movies, forever.”

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Best of Hip-Hop in 2018, Part One; Top 25 Album Countdown

Posted by Billyjam, January 1, 2019 10:23pm | Post a Comment

#25 Young Fathers Cocoa Sugar (also on LP/vinyl) (Ninja Tune)

This first part of Best of Hip-Hop In 2018 lists is subjective and limited to albums that were available for sale at Amoeba over the past year year. At number 25 is Scottish hip-hop trio Young Fathers who returned in 2018 after three years with the album Cocoa Sugar (also on LP/vinyl) via Ninja Tune. Similar to many UK "hip-hop" acts, the Young Fathers' album transcended mere hip-hop by also embracing such  genres as electronic, soul, and alt rock while delivering a satisfying rock/pop fueled hip-hop sound from the Edinburgh crew.


#24  Apathy The Widow's Son (also on viny/2LP) (Dirty Version)

Longtime East Coast hip-hopper Apathy dropped The Widow's Son (also on viny/2LP) in 2018, coming less than six months after his last album, the dope O.C collaboration full-length project Perestroika. The  14 track, 50 minute The Widow's Son from the Connecticut emcee/producer known for his numerous collaborations and side projects (The Demigodz, Jedi Mind Tricks, and Army of the Pharaohs) not surprisingly featured numerous collaborative tracks; both emcees and producers. These included Celph Titled, M.O.P., Pete Rock, Pharoahe Monch, AG, Locksmith, Nottz, and DJ Premier who produced and supplied scratches to the triple-dope album track “The Order.”

#23 Illa J John Yancey LP   (Jakarta Records)

John Yancey LP  via Jakarta Records by Illa J is the California based, Detroit rapper/singer/producer's second collaboration with LA producer Calvin Valentine. On the 2018 John Yancey LP, the brother of J Dilla gets personal and shares about life matters such as the challenges of relationships, and coping with grief over the years since the death of his beloved older brother.
#22  Potatohead People  Nick & Astro's Guide To The Galaxy (Bastard Jazz). 

There was a ton of amazing instrumental hip-hop released in 2018, albeit much of it was under the radar online-only hard to find stuff. Among the quality physical releases was Potatohead People's  Nick & Astro's Guide To The Galaxy (Bastard Jazz) that served up some retro feeling, groove laden, laid back instrumental tracks. There were also some vocal tracks on this album filled with lush beats and smokey grooves from the Vancouver production duo made up of Nick Wisdom and AstroLogical.

 
 
#21  The Egyptian Lover  1985 (also on vinyl 2LP) (Egyptian Empire)

Following legendary LA artist/friend of Amoeba the Egyptian Lover's 2015 album album 1984, is the recent / late 2018 album 1985 (also on vinyl 2LP) from the electro pioneer. A little oover an hour's worth of new music it's got 8 solo tracks that include "5 Cent Camel Ride," "International Freak" and the updated version of the Wham! hit Everything She Wants." it's also got 5 collaborative tracks that include  "Beyond The Galaxy" featuring the world's greatest turntablist DJ Qbert, "Future Tech" featuring Detroit techno pioneer Juan Atkins, "The World Keeps Turning" featuring old school electro crew Newcleus ("Jam On It"), "Problems Of The World" featuring Zarcon and "Come On" features Funkmaster Ozone.

#20  Styles P Dime Bag (Phantom Entertainment)

Distinctive sounding emcee and diehard weed fan Styles P, who earlier this year released G-Host (feat. such tracks as "Morning mourning"), in 2018 also unleashed his new ten track release Dime Bag via Phantom Entertainment. Featuring such tracks as "Never Fight An African," "Money and Checks," "War N Peace," "Time Machine" and "Couple Dollars" the album demands repeated hits on the replay.