Amoeblog

Johnny Ramone Tribute at Hollywood Forever Sunday, August 11

Posted by Amoebite, July 31, 2019 06:54pm | Post a Comment

2019 Johnny Ramone Tribute at Hollywood Forever

Hey ho, let's go to the Johnny Ramone Tribute at Hollywood Forever on Sunday, August 11th! Curated by Vincent Gallo, this year's event features a screening of the 1979 cult classic The Warriors in celebration of its 40th anniversary, along with an exclusive one-night only exhibit of punk rock and glam rock photography from Jenny Lens, Danny Fields and more in the Cathedral mausoleum. Enjoy a discussion with The Warriors director Walter Hill and star Michael Beck “Swan.” Plus, there will be a food tent, pop-up shops, and an Amoeba Music tent. We'll be there with Warriors and Ramones merch and collectibles for sale, Amoeba swag and other goodies. Stop by before the movie and say hi!

Fans young and old have gathered around the Johnny Ramone memorial statue at Hollywood Forever cemetery to celebrate the legendary rocker's memory since his death in 2004. When you visit the 8-foot-tall bronze statue, be sure to look on its base for inscriptions by Eddie Vedder, John Frusciante, Rob Zombie, Lisa Marie-Presley and others. The annual tribute event is presented by Linda Ramone and all proceeds go to prostate cancer research by Dr. David Agus. 

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Adrian Younge

Posted by Amoebite, July 30, 2019 03:07pm | Post a Comment

Adrian Younge - What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

LA music producer, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and sharp-dressed man Adrian Younge visited Amoeba Hollywood recently and talked with us about his introduction to jazz, the influence of David Axelrod's compositions on hip-hop, and the band that inspired him to learn how to play instruments in our latest What's In My Bag? episode.

Often fusing the genres of soul, hip-hop, funk, and jazz, Adrian Younge first attracted critical acclaim for his score to the Adrian Younge Produced By2009 blaxploitation flick Black Dynamite. In addition to his roles as producer and composer, Younge was responsible for the majority of the music on the score, performing over a dozen instruments himself with support from a handful of vocalists and instrumentalists. Wax Poetics released Younge's score later that year. The success of Black Dynamite led Younge to relaunch his earlier Venice Dawn project; as a result, Wax Poetics released his atmospheric Something About April LP in 2011.

In 2013, Younge teamed up with The Delfonics, a major influence on Adrian, for the LP Adrian Younge Presents the Delfonics. Shortly afterward, Younge joined forces with Ghostface Killah for Adrian Younge Presents Twelve Reasons to Die. His next high-profile collaboration was 2014's Adrian Younge Presents There Is Only Now with Souls of Mischief. Working tirelessly, Younge followed this up with work on Bilal's In Another Life and Ghostface's Twelve Reasons to Die II. In 2016, Something About April II came out, with contributions from Raphael Saadiq and Laetitia Sadier. That same year, Younge released The Electronique Void, a synth-heavy concept LP featuring narration from Jack Waterson, and joined forces with Ali Shaheed Muhammad on the Luke Cage soundtrack. Younge has also worked with or been sampled by Kendrick Lamar, Common, and Jay-Z. In 2019, he released Produced By Adrian Younge, which features vocals by Black Thought, Estelle, Georgia Anne Muldrow and more.

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Death Cab For Cutie and Car Seat Headrest Perform at the Hollywood Bowl August 11

Posted by Amoebite, July 30, 2019 02:10pm | Post a Comment

Death Cab For Cutie at the Hollywood Bowl

One of our favorite summer activities is catching a show at the iconic Hollywood Bowl. We're especially excited to be at the Bowl for a night made in indie rock heaven! Amoeba Music is proud to sponsor an evening with Death Cab For Cutie and Car Seat Headrest at the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday, August 11th! We'll be there giving away Amoeba gift certificates, tote bags, and other goodies. Be sure to stop by our booth and say hi on your way in to the show!

Over their 20+ year career, Seattle indie rockers Death Cab For Cutie have created a signature sound that blends singer Ben Gibbard’s bittersweet melodic sense with emotionally powerful and musically inventive rock. They released their ninth studio album, Thank You For Today (Barsuk Records), in August 2018 and they just announced The Blue EP, which will be available September 6, 2019 and is a tribute to the three children who died in the 1999 Olympic Pipeline explosion in Bellingham, WA.

Seattle-based indie band Car Seat Headrest takes its name from frontman Will Toledo's decision to record the vocals for his early albums in the back of his car for privacy. The prolific singer-songwriter recorded his first four albums within a span of a few months over the course of 2010. In 2015, he signed to Matador Records and released Teens of Denial in July 2016. In 2018, he reworked Twin Fantasy, arguably the most revered album from his early years, recording it with a full band in a proper studio.

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Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi: Jonny Quest & Aliens on Spring Break

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 30, 2019 01:02pm | Post a Comment

By Jon Longhi

Welcome to this month's Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi where I review recent Blu-ray releases.

Jonny Quest, The Complete Original Series, Warner Archive:
In my opinion this is the best Saturday morning cartoon ever made and the greatest achievement of Johnny QuestHanna-Barbera Productions. I can already hear the angry cries of the naysayers: "But The Flintstones! The Jetsons!" I'm not belittling either of those shows, they are iconic entries in the history of cartoons and basically set the standard for funny cartoons. But Jonny Quest has levels of sophistication that neither of them has and was literally developed to be better than those two shows. Hanna-Barbera created Jonny Quest to deal with their own success. In the early to mid-1960s, The Flintstones and The Jetsons ruled the Saturday morning airwaves to the point where within a year or two every other competing cartoon show was drawn to look as near as possible to them. Hanna-Barbera basically flooded their own market and needed to come up with something stunningly new and different to stand out from the flooded marketplace that they themselves had created. So they turned away from the omnipresent humor shows and made an action/adventure series instead.

To spearhead this effort, they brought in the incredibly multi-talented Doug Wildey, an illustrator who had long worked in the comic book industry. Wildey truly understood the action/adventure genre and brought with him a bunch of his gifted comic artist friends to work on the Jonny Quest project. The end result is arguably the best action/adventure kid show ever made. Jonny Quest just fires on all levels: the artwork, the stories, the theme music, the voice actors, the designs...this show had it all and set the standard by which future cartoons would be measured by. The series told the story of a boy named Jonny Quest who had adventures with his government research scientist father, Doctor Benton Quest. Race Bannon was a secret agent assigned to be their bodyguard but ended up basically being a family member. In the course of their travels they adopt an orphaned Indian boy named Hadji. This was a real boys' club show; there was no mother or any women in the central cast, which has often caused me to comment that Jonny Quest was the first show about gay parenting.

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Weird Wednesday at The Alamo Drafthouse New Mission in August

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 29, 2019 06:25pm | Post a Comment

Sun Ra, Space is the Place

Amoeba and Alamo Drafthouse continue their partnership for Weird Wednesday at the New Mission theater in SF this August! Weird Wednesday is Alamo's weekly celebration of movies that are too outrageous for prime time. The August line-up proves to be daring, imaginative, and downright interplanetary. You won't want to miss any of these.

Murderous Intent (1985)
Wednesday, August 7. 9pm
Jamaican-born, NYC-based director Len Anthony originally set out to make several films, but was never able to finish any of them. All the leftover footage was smashed together and Murderous Intent was born. Opening with an explosive Alvin Ailey-esque dance troupe number, you will never be able to predict where this movie is headed. It's like if Dangerous Men was an art film -- or a horror film -- or both -- or neither!

Murderous Intent

Caged Heat (1974)
Wednesday, August 14. 9:30pm
This women-in-prison tale is the debut feature from future cinema legend Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs, Something Wild, Married to the Mob). Thrown into the penal hell of Connorville, petty criminal Jacqueline (Erica Gavin) fights against the ruthless inmates, a cruel warden (Barbara Steele), and her depraved staff. She forms an uneasy friendship with two hardened inmates; when these three unite, they seek escape, money, and revenge. Composer John Cale (formerly of The Velvet Underground!) also offers a stark, experimental, blues-inflected score — and the story takes a number of odd turns including several strikingly surreal fantasy sequences, with Steele getting the best moment in a stylish cabaret number.

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“OAKLAND IS PROUD" of Aerosol Street Art History ahead of DREAM DAY 2019 (Aug 17) with TDK Crew, DJ Qbert, Nump + more

Posted by Billyjam, July 26, 2019 01:04pm | Post a Comment


In advance of next month's anticipated annual 2019 DREAM DAY, which since the death of beloved Bay Area activist and aerosol art legend Mike “DREAM” Francisco’s senseless murder almost 20 years ago celebrates the internationally revered artist’s life and legacy, several new vibrant street art aerosol murals have recently being painted in the streets of North Oakland, not far from Mosswood Park where DREAM Day 2019 with live art and music will be held on Saturday, August 17th from 11am until 7pm.



On 36th Street off of Telegraph a few blocks from Mosswood Park members of DREAM’s veteran influential East Bay aerosol arts collective including Kufue, the 1984 founded TDK crew that originally stood for Those Damn Kids but these days stands for Teach Dem Kids, were busy in recent weeks painting such pieces as the “OAKLAND IS PROUD” seen above that is done in tradition of the landmark Oakland mural painted years ago by TDK's Del Phresh that became immortalized when featured on the TV show Hangin' with Mr. Cooper. Also painted on the same wall recently was the “TDK” piece pictured up top above that is a virtual mural advertisement for the upcoming DREAM Day 2019 in the nearby Mosswood Park.

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The Films Within Quentin Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood'

Posted by Amoebite, July 24, 2019 04:50pm | Post a Comment

Once Upon a TIme ... In Hollywood - Amoeba Music - photo by Aaron Araki

By Jackie Greed & Aaron Araki

In the summer and fall of 2018, Los Angeles was transported back to 1969…and it was a glory to behold! At any given moment, you could drive by a block or two that had suddenly been covered in '60s signage and window dressing, with vintage cars parked alongside the curb next to an old parking meter. All of this period makeover was courtesy of Quentin Tarantino’s production of his 9th film, Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood. As we stumbled upon each re-created neighborhood, we admired all the wonderful attention to detail given to the various businesses (especially finding all the ephemera captivating). Throughout all the sights that were taken in, there was an immediate attraction to any advertising given to a film or television show. From large billboards and movie theater marquees to bus benches and the buses themselves, here is a spotlight of the many movies and TV shows that were captured from the on-location filming of Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood.

cinerama dome - Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood photo by Jackie Greed

cinerama dome - once upon a time in hollywood - amoeba music - photo by Aaron ArakiThe first shooting location we came across was right next door to Amoeba Hollywood at the Cinerama Dome Theatre. While at first it appeared that the iconic theater was setting up to screen Bernard L. Kowalski's 1969 epic, Krakatoa: East of Java, it soon became apparent, as the street filled with an array of classic cars, that this was indeed the set for Tarantino's then recently announced new film. As the sun went down and the sky hit that "golden hour," normal traffic was stopped and the roar of all the pre-1970 automobiles overtook Sunset Boulevard, while extras in slim fitting suits and shaggy hippy garb began walking the sidewalk, and the camera started rolling.  

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

Posted by Amoebite, July 24, 2019 12:22pm | Post a Comment

Jungle - What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

We had the pleasure of interviewing Tom McFarland and Josh Lloyd-Watson from British modern soul duo Jungle during a recent visit to Amoeba Hollywood. In our latest What's In My Bag? episode, the bandmates and longtime friends talked with us about some nostalgic favorites by Buena Vista Social Club, Jackson Browne, and Harry Nilsson, and discussed their love of edits and samples.

Tom McFarland and Josh Lloyd-Watson grew up next to each other, attended the same school, and performed together in a handful of musical projects prior to starting Jungle in 2013. Choosing to focus on the music rather than on themselves, Tom McFarland and Josh Lloyd-Watson assumed the monikers T and J, respectively. They enlisted several other band members for their live show, performing with artists across genres and art forms.

Jungle - For Ever - Amoeba Music

With the release of their 2013 debut single "The Heat," the band's career really got rolling. Jungle was nominated for BBC's Sound of 2014 prize. That same year, the group went on to perform at South By Southwest, play Reading and Leeds, take the stage at Glastonbury, and appear on both Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Later... with Jools Holland. Their self-titled debut was released in summer 2014. Since that time, Jungle has been busy performing at top festivals worldwide, appearing on late night TV, and licensing tracks to programs like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Queen Sugar, and Superstore. Jungle's sophomore LP, For Ever, was released in fall 2018, peaking at #10 on the UK album charts and #56 on Billboard's Top Album Sales chart in the US.

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Hip-Hop Top Five: DJ Babu, Your Old Droog, Doom & Damu, Kool Keith, Soul Jazz Records Presents: The World Of Keith Haring

Posted by Billyjam, July 24, 2019 11:38am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Hip-Hop Top 5 July 24 2019


#1: V/A Soul Jazz Records Presents: The World Of Keith Haring (vinyl 3LP) (Soul Jazz)

#2: Your Old Droog Transportation (vinyl LP) (Nature Sounds/Fat Beats)

#3: Kool Keith KEITH (Mello Music Group)

4: MF Doom & Damu The Fudgemunk  Coco Mango Sliced 7” (Redefinition / Fat Beats)

5: DJ Babu Super Duper Duck Flips Vol. 3 (7") (Dilated Junkie Music)


The excellent new  Soul Jazz Records Presents: The World Of Keith Haring (vinyl 3LP), that arrived in Amoeba in both CD and vinyl versions this past Friday, transcends merely hip-hop but incorporates other genres from punk to electro that were all part of the early 80’s NYC “downtown” scene that the late great Keith Haring was an integral part of. As noted in the Amoeba review of the triple LP various artists/genres compilation, The World Of Keith Haring is an aural companion of sorts to the ongoing Tate Liverpool museum’s Keith Haring exhibit. As such it is a sequel to the 2017 collaboration between the Tate and Soul Jazz when the Soul Of A Nation Tate exhibit resulted in two Soul Jazz companion releases.

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NightLife Live Featuring The Marias & Amo Amo, August 8

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 23, 2019 03:43pm | Post a Comment

San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences presents its next installment of the NightLife LIVE The Mariassummer music series on Thursday, August 8th with special guests The Marías and Amo Amo. The Marías are the “psychedelic-soul lovechild” of LA native Josh Conway and Puerto Rican-bred, Atlanta-raised María, a smooth fusion of jazz percussion, hypnotic guitar riffs, and smoky vocals. Amo Amo glides into the Academy on a chill sonic wave of soulful jams and ‘70s-inspired soft-rock tunes, having recently released their self-titled debut album, produced by My Morning Jacket’s Jim James.

Additionally, NightLife LIVE features immersive light shows and mind-bending projections by ALL OF IT NOW, VR experiences by Vision Quest, and they are introducing their first artist-in-residency -- Los Angeles-based artist Maggie West. NightLife LIVE also features hands-on, science-inspired crafts and creativity workshops with Paint Pens Collective, local vendors, and special “one-night-only” custom designs with screen printing by San Franpsycho.

Visit us at the Amoeba Music pop-up shop, which will be stocked with loads of awesome vinyl.

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UK Poet/Emcee Kate Tempest's 2019 "The Book Of Traps and Lessons" Is Musically More Stark and Lyrically More Personal

Posted by Billyjam, July 22, 2019 09:15pm | Post a Comment
Snippet sampler of Kate Tempest's new The Book Of Traps and Lessons (deluxe CD version)


Kate Tempest just had a pretty hectic week that included performances on both sides of the Atlantic (including US network TV and major UK music festival) as well as doing interviews, all in support of the
talented British spoken word artist's brand new full-length The Book Of Traps And Lessons  (Deluxe CD version) .The poet/rapper, with emphasis on the poetry more than the hip-hop, is a refreshingly unique and powerful voice in contemporary popular music.

Last week when over in New York City her itinerary including a live performance of The Book Of Traps And Lessons track "Firesmoke" on Late Night With Seth Meyers. See video of that July 17th performance below. There is also video of her performing another new album track ("People's Faces") at the Paste magazine studios in NYC. After those and other stops in NYC last week, Tempest headed back to her native UK to be among the performers at the big four-day UK Bluedot Festival on the grounds of Jodrell Bank deep space observatory in Chesire.

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For Follow-Up To 2017’s “Packs” Your Old Droog Returns In 2019 With Two New Albums: “It Wasn’t Even Close” and “Transportation”

Posted by Billyjam, July 16, 2019 05:34pm | Post a Comment

Your Old Droog's 2019 Albums It Wasn’t Even Close and Transportation (and vinyl 2LP)


Back in 2017 Your Old Droog dropped both the solo album Packs and the collaborative EP project EP What Happened To Fire? with buddy / fellow NYC emcee talent Wiki. But then last year, with the exception of a handful of solo and collaborative tracks sprinkled throughout 2018, the Nas-inflected rapper gave the hip-hop world (hungry for more) no albums. However following two full years with no album releases from Your Old Droog (aka YOD), the super talented emcee returns in force with not just one, but two new 2019 album releases both of which arrive into Amoeba this month.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Touché Amoré

Posted by Amoebite, July 16, 2019 04:09pm | Post a Comment

Touche Amore - What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

We had a fun time talking to Jeremy Bolm, vocalist of the post-hardcore band Touché Amoré, for our latest What's In My Bag? episode. A longtime Amoeba Hollywood customer and avid vinyl collector, Bolm picked up albums by Shudder To Think, Thom Yorke, and Townes Van Zandt, and talked about how there's no wrong time to start listening to a new genre of music.

"Full disclosure: I am a 100-percent jazz poser," he confessed to us. "I'm in my mid-30s, and it was last year when I had the moment where I was like, 'I think I have the attention span for jazz now.'" Bolm recounted the amusing and somewhat frustrating moment when jazz finally clicked for him and the resulting decision to buy one new jazz album each month and give it his singular attention. 

LA post-hardcore band Touché Amoré consists of Jeremy Bolm (vocals), Tyler Kirby (bass), Elliot Babin (percussion), Clayton Stevens (guitar), and Nick Steinhardt (guitar). The band formed in 2007 and recorded their debut full-length album, ...To the Beat of a Dead Horse, in 2009. Two years later, the group journeyed to Eudora, KS to record their sophomore album, Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me, with engineer/producer Ed Rose (The Get Up Kids, The Appleseed Cast, Motion City Soundtrack). The band embarked on a European tour with La Dispute in support of the LP in 2011. They spent 2012 on the road, touring with both Circa Survive and Converge.

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Paul McCartney's 'Amoeba Gig' Will Be Available For The First Time on July 12

Posted by Amoebite, July 10, 2019 02:51pm | Post a Comment

Paul McCartney at Amoeba Hollywood

If you were lucky enough to be at Amoeba Hollywood on June 27, 2007, you witnessed Beatlemania within our very walls as Sir Paul McCartney performed a surprise live set for the promotional “mini tour” for his album Memory Almost Full. This amazing concert is being released in its entirety for the first time on July 12th!

Although 4 songs were previously on the limited edition Amoeba's Secret EP, Amoeba Gig features all 21 songs from his career-spanning performance. The LPs will also include a bonus track ("Coming Up") from soundcheck. Amoeba Gig is available for pre-order now on CD, 2LP, and indie exclusive clear/amber color double vinyl and will be at our stores on July 12th.

Paul McCartney Amoeba Gig Indie Exclusive Color Vinyl

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Avey Tare of Animal Collective

Posted by Amoebite, July 8, 2019 07:04pm | Post a Comment

Avey Tare - What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

We were excited to have experimental indie pop artist Avey Tare (aka David Portner) share what he found shopping at Amoeba Hollywood in our latest What's In My Bag? episode. His eclectic selections were anything but pedestrian, as his taste ran the gamut from Nigerian Disco to new age and from avant-garde jazz to minimal techno.

Avey Tare is a solo artist and co-founder of Animal Collective. While in high school in Maryland, he met Josh Dibb (Deakin), Noah Lennox (Panda Bear), and Brian Weitz (Geologist); the friends shared homemade recordings and played in different band formations together. Portner and Weitz both moved to New York City after graduation and when they were joined by Dibb and Lennox, the longtime pals formed Animal Collective. In 2000, Avey Tare and Panda Bear released Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished, which was later classified as the first official Animal Collective LP. 2001's Danse Manatee saw Avey Tare, Panda Bear, and Geologist joining forces. The bandmates played together in various groupings, sometimes releasing work as Animal Collective and sometimes releasing work under other monikers but it wasn't until 2004's Sung Tongs that the band really began attracting national attention.

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The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, 7/18-8/4

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 8, 2019 03:53pm | Post a Comment

The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

Amoeba is proud to co-present four films at the 39th annual San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF), July 18 - August 4 at locations all around the Bay Area. This year, the festival will present more than 65 films and 135 individual screenings, performances, and events in San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Rafael, Oakland, and Albany. To see the full schedule and purchase single tickets or passes, please visit the SFJFF ticketing page HERE!

Amoeba Music will be co-presenting the following films:

Shut Up and Play the Piano
Saturday July 27. 11am. Castro Theatre
Friday August 2. 8:45pm. Piedmont Theatre

Performance provocateur, professional Jewish MC, and classical savant are a few of the phrases used to Chilly Gonzalesdescribe the cult musical phenomenon that is Chilly Gonzales. This Grammy-winning Canadian pianist, composer, and performer has moved effortlessly from smoky jazz and hip-hop clubs to packed orchestra halls for the past two decades. The Montreal-born son of Ashkenazi Hungarian Jews, Gonzales (born Jason Charles Beck), was signed at the age of 23 to Warner Bros. with his alternative rock band Son. After the label dumped him, Gonzales traveled to Berlin where he recorded four rap albums, collaborated with vanguard punk high priestess Peaches, and even ran for president of the city's underground scene despite speaking no German whatsoever. Weary of his own blabbermouth avant garde persona, Gonzales took off for Paris where he made the contemplative masterpiece of Satie-esque keyboard melodies, Solo Piano. Since then Gonzales has continually expanded his repertoire by writing and producing material for Canadian rap superstar Drake and Daft Punk's electronic mega-seller Random Access Memories. First time director Philipp Jedicke's freewheeling doc portrait weaves a mosaic of thoroughly entertaining moments from the artist's career culminating in a chaotic concert, with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra taking on Gonzales in all his sweaty, swaggering, crowd-surfing glory.

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Interview With Cheetah Chrome Of Dead Boys

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 3, 2019 07:59pm | Post a Comment

By Jon Longhi

The Dead Boys are one of the most iconic bands of the punk era. They only put out two albums in the late seventies, but both of them are hallmarks of the genre. Young, Loud, And Snotty is a perfect punk slab of vinyl that includes songs like "Sonic Reducer," which may be one of the five best punk tunes ever written. We Have Come For Your Children is another legendary album with classic anthems like "Third Generation Nation." Their live shows were infamous for their violence and rowdiness, and even featured lead singer Stiv Bators cutting himself up on stage. Guitarist Cheetah Chrome's ferocious leads are like a slashing force of nature. Few groups captured the spirit of the New York punk scene better than the Dead Boys. The owner of CBGB was even their manager for a while. Over the years, the band has re-formed on a number of occasions and their latest incarnation will be playing at Burger Boogaloo on Saturday, July 6th. (More on Burger Boogaloo HERE!)

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I REMEMBER JOHANN JOHANNSSON

Posted by Rick Frystak, July 2, 2019 07:56pm | Post a Comment
 
 
Johann Jóhannsson passed away last year in February, of a street drug overdose mixed with other medication he was taking, at the way-way-too-young age of 48 years old, a HUGE, huge loss to many fans of progressive music, film scores and progressive performance. Many of my friends saw his last show at the Walt Disney Hall here in L.A., and it was phenomenal. He would start each piece by rising from the keyboard / midi rig he was using and putting up a 15’’ reel of audiotape onto a Revox analog tape recorder and begin the piece with a repetitive loop or musical chunk, which would be softly, slowly and gradually picked up on by his traveling chamber ensemble and himself on piano, synths and samples, and fleshed out into a blooming, flourishing journey of sound. Simply spellbinding. And the visual elements, besides the exotic candelabras, would be a black and white film with blotted images, increasing the brooding, dark atmospherics.

Brooding and dark usually describe his sound, his direction favoring minor chords and modes. But then, he’ll go and write the Theory of Everything, with lots of lilting, rosy cues because that’s what the story demanded. But to me, he excelled in the glum, ominous moods that begat his reputation and manifested the darkened concert hall, with the black balloons and smudged visuals. In many ways his music reminds me of a correlation with composers such as Arvo Part or John Tavener, in mixing the sound of music from the middle ages with contemporary minimalism or ‘avant garde’ sounds; whatever the project demanded or his own inspiration dictated won over. The reason is inexplicable to me.
 
His film scores such as Prisoners, The Mercy, Mary Magdalene (shared credit with Hildur Gunadóttir), Arrival, Sicario, Mandy, A User’s Manual and others show Johannsson’s versatility, variety and inspiration, with the use of electronics mixed with symphonic and pop music elements, and his collaborations with closely held associates like Icelandic cellist Hildur Gunadóttir, who may continue on the path Johann was mining. In Arrival, he used pure electronic effects as part of the melodies in some of the cues; very effectively. Hildur's score to the HBO series Chernobyl (download only) is fascinating, a logical extension of Johannsson’s sound, with the horror of what's happened manifested by pure unfettered ambience. Twice nominated for Academy Awards, he hit it and won a Golden Globe award (foreign press) for his score to Theory of Everything, a great film detailing the early life of Stephen Hawking, no less great due to Johann’s work.

His newest solo project of his own music, Orphee, came shortly before his passing, and marked his signing with the legendary Deutsche Grammophon record label. It could be the best example of the variety of sounds that this man wanted to express to his audience. Many hum-able melodies fuse with textural elements to get at what Johannsson’s statements are in his musical expressions.

After Orphee’s release, things immediately started to happen. Almost simultaneously, his new label released a 2-LP, or 2-CD set ‘reimagining’ an older project Englabörn & Variations, in which Johann collaborated with the remixers in recomposing each piece and therefore, really, making an entirely new album, possibly one of his best. His new label has thus put together a 7-CD box set, a monumental, 100-dollar package with some new photos and I-don’t-know-what-else according to Deutsche Grammophon’s horrible website. In September of this year, DGG will release a string quartet, and another box set with unreleased tracks is being readied.

Johann’s music is many things to many people. His own solo records, such as Fordlandia, Orphee, Englabörn and Virðulegu Forsetar take the listener directly into the mindset of the soundtrack composer, yet maintain his own individual sound that brings you back to his soundtrack art. There are quite a few works by Johann that are out of print as well, (or nearly), already. Check those out too!

RECOMMENDED LISTENING BY Johann Johannsson:
Orphee (solo)
The Mercy (soundtrack)
Arrival (soundtrack)
Prisoners (soundtrack)
Miner’s Hymns (solo/soundtrack)
Englabörn & Variations (solo)
Theory Of Everything (soundtrack)
Mandy (soundtrack)
Retrospective Box Set (solo/soundtrack)
End Of Summer (soundtrack, w/DVD)

Gang Starr "Step In The Arena" 180-gram 2LP (Bonus Tracks) Reissue, J.Stalin's "Cypress Village: The Album" and NAV "Bad Habits"

Posted by Billyjam, July 2, 2019 12:39pm | Post a Comment
Gang Starr Step In The Arena 2LP 180-gram black vinyl (2019 reissue/Virgin)

Among the hot new vinyl arrivals into Amoeba this current week is the new 180 gram double vinyl reissue of the Gang Starr landmark second album; Step In The Arena 2LP that features not just an expanded
double black vinyl pressing but also two bonus tracks ("Credit Is Due" and "Check The Technique  (Remix)").  This early nineties golden era album from the power duo of producer DJ Premier  and the late great emcee Guru is one of those perfect albums with every song a true hip-hop classic with examples including the single "Just To Get A Rep" (scroll down to see this song's music video as well as others from the album).

"Mad brothers know his name" raps Guru (Gifts Unlimited Rhymes Universal) over Premo's trademark production on "Just To Get A Rep." The song was released as the first single from the album by Chrysalis/EMI  following the album release with "Who's Gonna Take The Weight" on the B-side of the 12" single. Other well worn Step In The Arena  tracks include the mellow, chilled out "Lovesick" whose numerous samples include Digital Underground's best known song "The Humpty Dance," the heavily politicized "Who's Gonna Take The Weight?," the killer "Street Ministry,"  "Check The Technique" and Step In The Arena 2LP's title track. Knowing how quickly quality vinyl reissues of albums like this tend to get snapped up by crate diggers, my advice is to order your copy ASAP of Step In The Arena 2LP.  Meantime scroll down to peep those music videos of tracks from the album.

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NightLife Live Featuring Men I Trust & Mk.gee, July 11

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 1, 2019 02:18pm | Post a Comment

NightLife Live, Men I Trust

San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences celebrates their sixth annual NightLife LIVE summerMen I Trust music series. NightLife LIVE pairs emerging bands and musicians with cutting-edge visual artists in an immersive intersection of science, music, and art. The only museum in the world to combine an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum, living rainforest, and live performances on an outdoor stage transforms the Academy into one of SF’s most unique live music venues in the heart of Golden Gate Park.

The series kicks off on Thursday, July 11th with a night of laid-back groovy indie pop from Men I Trust and Mk.gee. Fresh off their Coachella debut, Montreal trio Men I Trust headlines, featuring dream-pop perfect vocals by Emma Proulx and a funky and “insatiable groove” (Ones to Watch). Multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and California transplant mk.gee (pronounced McGee) opens, bringing his standout funk-inspired indie rock. He also carries a stamp of approval by Frank Ocean, who featured a mk.gee track on his blonded RADIO show last December.

Additionally, NightLife LIVE features immersive light shows and mind-bending projections by ALL OF IT NOW, VR experiences by Vision Quest, and they are introducing their first artist-in-residency -- Los Angeles-based artist Maggie West. NightLife LIVE also features hands-on, science-inspired crafts and creativity workshops with Paint Pens Collective, local vendors, and special “one-night-only” custom designs with screen printing by San Franpsycho.

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