In Appreciation of John Prine

Posted by Amoebite, March 31, 2020 07:07pm | Post a Comment

By Mark Beaver

By all means of measurement, 1971 was a monster of a year:

Idi Amin took power in Uganda, US-backed South Viet Nam invaded Laos, huge protests against the Viet John PrineNam War were taking place across the world ramped up by the New York Times publishing of the Pentagon Papers. The "troubles" of Northern Ireland were in full burn and earthquakes beat the heck out of Turkey, just to name a few of the struggles that world citizens were facing.

At the same time, great ideas were afoot and some of the most defining music of the decade was being released:

Led Zeppelin IV, Sticky Fingers by The Rolling Stones, All Day Music by WAR, Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality, The Who’s Who's Next, Electric Warrior by T.REX, Pearl by Janis Joplin, Van Morrison’s Tupelo Honey, Tapestry by Carole King, Blue by Joni Mitchell, Pink Floyd’s Meddle, Paul McCartney’s Ram, John Lennon’s Imagine, George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass, and outsider masterpieces bubbling below the charts from the likes of Nick Drake, Judee Sill, and Gil Scott-Heron.

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Gunn With Occasional Music

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 31, 2020 04:49pm | Post a Comment

Peter Gunn

By Brett Stillo

Many of us are finding ourselves with a lot of time on our hands -- A LOT of time. We’ve been granted a Peter Gunn, Billy Bartybittersweet surplus of hours to watch whatever we want for as long as we want. With the streaming lanes wide open, my viewing interests have led me to wander back to 1959 to get acquainted with a forgotten crusader in the annals of Pop Culture -- Peter Gunn.

For most of my life, Peter Gunn, the smoother-than-smooth TV private eye created by Blake Edwards, was just a name to me. The series came and went before my time, banished from the color-saturated rerun carousel of my youth to a monochrome junkyard of old shows from the black and white era.

The only thing I really knew about Peter Gunn was the music…and that theme song! That stone-cold bass methodically prowling down a dark street, chased by the frantic screams of brass. Composer Henry Mancini orchestrated a glorious truce between two musical generations: the powerhouse swing of the Big Bands and the brazen snarl of Rock and Roll. Elmer Bernstein built the launchpad for jazz on film with his swaggering score for The Man With the Golden Arm in 1955. Three years later, Mancini blasted it into orbit. This set the tempo for action-packed jazz scores on film and television for the decade to come.

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Somewhere Beyond the Cosmic Sea

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 27, 2020 03:45pm | Post a Comment

By Kai Wada Roath
Ambassador of Confusion Hill and host of the Super Shangri-La Show

"And in the lonely chanting of the sea, I heard the echoes of eternity.
And in the fantasy of cloud and sky, I saw the one who lives, while all things die.
And I was swallowed by the sea, and lost in the deep, and washed up on the shore."
~ "La Mar" by Eden Ahbez

When I was a young lad in my 20s, I remember driving to the beach on a rainy day to eat fried chicken Mystic Moods Orchestraand watch the waves crash from the window of my rusty 64' Dodge Dart (with a push-button transmission and a butter knife for an ignition key) that I bought for $200 bucks. The ocean has always been a primordial comfort to me, as it is for so many. Those born under the sign of Pisces gain extra daydreaming superpowers through water, and I too find a recharge to my creativity with the sound and sight of the sea. Even if you are not a "water sign," I hope to introduce you to some unknown abilities you may possess with the help of these musical suggestions that all incorporate the soothing sounds of waaah-taaah.

The Mystic Moods Orchestra released their first album, One Stormy Night, in 1966. It is a beautiful mixture of 60's orchestra pop with thunder and rain (and even a train) throughout the entire album. If you have not heard a Mystic Moods Orchestra album, let me just say they are unique, often with "environmental sounds," and were made to be played while "primitive nocturnal love rituals" were being preformed on your living room sofa as your upstairs neighbor covered their ears in jealousy. The true hit for me on the album is the song titled "Fire Island."

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Remember The Oscars?

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 26, 2020 04:05pm | Post a Comment

By Jon Longhi

It seems like the Oscars were a million years ago, but they were actually just last month. This column was supposed to run a while back but it’s been in limbo for the past few weeks as civilization has been collapsing. I wasn’t a fan of Joker, but the other two Oscar nominees/winners in this column are totally worth checking out during your virus lockdown. Parasite, especially, is not to be missed. It’s the best movie I’ve seen in the past couple years.

JokerJoker, Warner Brothers:
This steaming pile of Oscar excrement is the most torturous couple of hours I’ve spent in the past few months. Sure, Joaquin Phoenix grunts, weeps, spasmodically chuckles, and even interpretive dances his way through a role and that’s acting with a capital A; but most of the time I just feel like I’m watching a terminally constipated man squeeze out the world’s most reluctant turd. It’s acting with a capital A in a movie that’s a bummer with a capital B. The slow moving script is beyond ham-fisted; it’s like they grafted a herd of wild boars to their forearms. There are multiple layers of irony in the film, but the most annoying one is that a movie called Joker doesn’t have a funny moment in it. The whole thing is utterly grey and joyless. It’s like Cormac McCarthy's The Road, only more depressing. The pacing is glacial. At one point my wife said, “God, this movie is so slow,” and we were only ten minutes past the opening credits! There’s no super villains, fights, or explosions to break up the pace, just one excruciatingly sad scene after another. Unlike Marvel, DC seems to have given up on actually entertaining us. Not even Robert De Niro could save this. I mean, it’s well written and acted. The script had some literary sophistication to it. I appreciated the political and socio-economic metaphors and liked the references to the horrors we’re experiencing in the age of Trump, but at the same time you can see the major plot points coming from a mile away. When he lost his job, I turned to my wife and said, “I bet before the end of the night he’s going to have turned to a life of crime and 'Send In The Clowns' will be playing somewhere in the background." And sure enough… Joaquin Phoenix gives it his all until he pretty much breaks out in a sweat in every scene. I’m not saying he’s trying too hard, but by the last time in the movie he does a little interpretive dance I was ready to open a beer, not because I wanted to drink it but just so that I could throw the bottle at the screen.

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Interview With Tony Thaxton of the Bizarre Albums Podcast

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 24, 2020 06:55pm | Post a Comment


Tony Thaxton by Brian Keith Diaz
Tony Thaxton by Brian Keith Diaz

By Audra Wolfmann

If you're at all like me (and I have a strong suspicion that you, dear record collector, might be), then you enjoy a deep dive into the dark corners of music history AND you also love a good Novelty album. You grew up cherishing your Dr. Demento collections and World Wrestling Federation LP, but you also burned with questions about that Leonard Nimoy album your parents had next to the hi-fi in the living room. Well, there's a place for us and, of course, it's on the internet in the form of a podcast called Bizarre Albums. Hosted by drummer Tony Thaxton of Motion City Soundtrack, Bizarre Albums serves as a sort of VH1's Behind the Music for the novelties, oddities, and the just plain strange in the wide world of weird records. Since nothing could be farther up Amoeba's alley than celebrating the unexpected vinyl find, we tracked down Tony and asked him about his show and his own record collection.

Amoeba: What makes an album “Bizarre” by your standards?

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10 New Music Releases on, 3/20/20

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 20, 2020 01:00pm | Post a Comment

Lots of things in our lives may have been canceled, but not music! Here's a list of 10 of our favorites from this week's new releases, available on (FREE SHIPPING TO THE U.S.)! See all the new releases HERE.

Wild Chile!

Various Artists: Wild Chile! A Collection Of Rare & Wild 60's Chilean Rock 'N' Roll

A collection of rare and wild '60s Chilean rock n' roll. A new installment of the Wild series, focused on wild, untamed Latin American rock n' roll from the '60s. This time Pinche Discos takes you to the beautiful land of Chile for a rollercoaster of wild sounds and smashing and obscure hits. In Wild Chile! you'll find, of course, wild rock n' roll but also crazed out twist, soul stompers, and a few fiery instrumentals too. If you know the previous two volumes of this series you know what to expect: a record perfectly designed to make your next party explode, pure dynamite! Features Willy Monti & Los Tiburones, Los Atomos, Pepe Pato & Los Stereos, and more.

New Blu-ray & DVD Releases on, 3/17/20

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 17, 2020 08:25pm | Post a Comment

By Audra Wolfmann

We're all in the same boat right now and, although that boat feels like it's on fire and slowly sinking, we're going to be fine as long as we stay away from public gatherings, practice social distancing, and DON'T FREAK OUT. I'm not exactly an expert on not freaking out, but one surefire way I've learned to avoid panic, anxiety, and generalized freak-outs is the pleasure of escape into music, movies, books, and really any kind of art for that matter.

Luckily, the post offices are still making deliveries, and is open for business with free shipping on music and movies to the U.S. New releases continue to appear in the world, like freshly sprung sprouts after a destructive storm (or something like that), and I'll be here with you throughout this insanity, letting you know about the neat new titles that you can have delivered to your door.

Here's some new Blu-ray & DVD releases that came out today, Tuesday, March 17th:

Jumanji: The Next Level
A team of friends return to Jumanji to rescue one of their own but discover that nothing is as they expect. The players need to brave parts unknown, from arid deserts to snowy mountains, in order to escape the world's most dangerous game. Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, and Danny DeVito will keep your head in this game.

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Bay Area Stores Will Be Closed 3/17-4/7

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 16, 2020 06:37pm | Post a Comment

The City of San Francisco has issued a Public Health Order requiring people to stay home (“shelter in place”) and for the temporary closure of all non-essential businesses. This is expected to be active through April 7th.

Our Berkeley and San Francisco store locations will temporarily close starting March 17th and will remain closed through April 7th per the public health order from San Francisco. We will evaluate whether we need to extend the closure at that time.

Updates will be posted on and our social channels as soon as they become available. And of course, the online store is open with free shipping to the U.S. 

Thank you for your continuous support and loyalty.

Genesis P-Orridge (1950-2020) Rich Legacy includes Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV

Posted by Billyjam, March 14, 2020 07:41pm | Post a Comment
Psychic TV "Godstar" (1988)

Legendary experimental musician, poet, multi-media artist and occultist Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, who was diagnosed with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia in 2017, died earlier today at age 70. Around this time last year and midway into a two-plus year battle against the disease the industrial music pioneer, who first came to wide acclaim as the founding member of Throbbing Gristle, had to be rushed into a NYC area hospital in what was reportedly a critical situation. “She was unable to breathe without oxygen” after her lungs became “blocked with fluid, which her doctors had previously attempted to remove with a suction needle,” wrote friend and associate of the artist Jason Louv at the time in an email to fans and friends of Genesis P-Orridge that also acted as both an update on the artist's health and a plea for help for the under-insured artist's GoFundMe page to combat ever escalating medical bills.  

The envelope pushing, notoriously prolific Genesis P-Orridge leaves behind a vast and impressive legacy.  Creating under a myriad of pseudonyms that have included Griselda, PT001Godstar,  DJ Doktor Megatrip, and Pearl Necklace, the British born Genesis P-Orridge (aka Genesis Breyer P-Orridge) had long been a provocateur.  The five-decade career of the long self-identified "third-gender" artist with the s/he and h/er preferred pronouns (although some still referred to the artist as "he" or "she") is most widely known for being the founding member of the seventies pioneering industrial music group Throbbing Gristle. 

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Record Store Day 2020 Postponed To June 20th

Posted by Billyjam, March 13, 2020 11:24am | Post a Comment

As announced earlier today, this year’s Record Store Day, initially planned for April 18th, is being postponed by two months until Saturday June 20th, 2020.  This decision seems both wise in light of the overwhelming impact of the COVID-19/Coronavirus threat that has already impacted so many big events being canceled or postponed (EG: Coachella and SXSW) and with news this week, following Trump’s ban on European air travel and with states such as California banning club/public events of over 250 people, countless nightclub events, artist tours and concerts are all been put on hold for now.

In their official announcement earlier today the folks at the Record Store Day headquarters wrote in part that, “We’ve decided that the best of all possible moves is to change the date of Record Store Day this year ….We think this gives stores around the world the best chance to have a profitable, successful Record Store Day, while taking into consideration the recommendations of doctors, scientists, the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, and the need to be good citizens of both local and worldwide communities.” 

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#HipHopNewArrivals [Music Video Version] Atmosphere, Mac Miller, The Game, 2Pac

Posted by Billyjam, March 10, 2020 02:27pm | Post a Comment
#HipHopNewArrivals Top 5 March 10 2020

#1 Atmosphere Whenever 2LP (Rhymesayer Entertainment)
#2 Atmosphere Whenever CD (Rhymesayers Entertainment)

Longtime hardworking hip-hop duo Atmosphere officially released their latest excellent album back in mid December in digital format but this past week have followed up with the welcome physical versions; the Whenever 2LP vinyl version and the Whenever CD version of the album. Note that the original late 2019 release of this album coincided with the timing of the power duo's reissuing on vinyl, also via their Rhymesayers Ent, of their bygone bangers Seven's Travels 3LPGod Loves Ugly 2LP and Headshots: Se7en [Anniversary Edition] 2LP.  As expected from the ever reliable longtime duo of emcee Slug and producer Ant  this latest full-length release does not disappoint as witnessed by the album's singles/videos of the tracks "Bde Maka Ska,"  "Lovely (feat. Nikki Jean)," "Love Each Other" and the most recently released  "Dearly Beloved (feat. Musab & Muja Messiah)" (see video below). Other standout tracks on the 43 minute, 12 song album include "Postal Lady" and the album title track that features guest spots from Murs, Haphduzn and Gifted Gab; the latter being the Seattle femcee, not the similarly named NorCal Solesides/Quannum emcee GIft of Gab. Now an elder in the game of hip-hop Slug has not lost any of his legendary lyrical edge or sense of humor;  interspersing funny self-effacing "dad rap" observations into his witty flow.

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Hip-Hop Converges With The News Headlines: Coronavirus & the 2020 Presidential Campaign

Posted by Billyjam, March 6, 2020 03:47pm | Post a Comment
                            Public Enemy  Apocalypse 91... The Enemy Strikes Black 2LP (Def Jam)

In these challenging times with the daily news headlines typically troubling, be it the latest reports on the seemingly unstoppable coronavirus or the 2020 presidential campaign, for many hip-hop fans music offers a welcome escape from the stress-inducing reality of the increasingly scary world outside. However more and more it seems that hip-hop has become entangled with these news headlines, especially in this past week, when several news headlines have converged with hip-hop and thereby diminishing the music’s escapist/healing effects.

While on the more dorky end of the spectrum of political news and hip-hop colliding was former Democratic candidate Tom Steyer dancing with rapper Juvenile on stage a week ago, leading the political news meets hip-hop headlines was the story of dispute surrounding a Public Enemy supported Bernie Sanders rally in LA last Sunday that long-flakey PE member Flavor Flav wanted no part of, and resulted in the longtime revolutionary rap crew kicking him out of the group with the official statement that PE would be “moving forward without Flavor Flav.” Following the controversy of the ousting of Flav, PE main-man Chuck D took to social media this week to stress how it really had nothing to do with Bernie Sanders per se and that Flav’s decision to not perform (for no fee like all the other artists) was simply about money.

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Weird Wednesdays this March at the Alamo Drafthouse New Mission

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 4, 2020 04:59pm | Post a Comment

Join us for another month of Weird Wednesdays at Alamo Drafthouse New Mission in San Francisco! This weekly celebration of genre film is a one-way ticket to the fringes of the unknown, where imagination and ambition dance on the graves of logic and reality. From outlaw exploitation classics to inexplicable Hollywood excess, Weird Wednesday showcases mind-blowing genre discoveries that are unlike anything else you’ve ever seen. Check out what what the Alamo has lined-up for March!

Wednesday, March 4. 9:45pm.
After a five-year hiatus following the release of Fire Walk With Me, David Lynch returned with perhaps his most daring and disturbing work since Eraserhead. Lost Highway follows an LA jazz saxophonist’s (Bill Pullman) withering relationship with his wife (Patricia Arquette), who receive cryptic, menacing surveillance tapes of their Hollywood home. As the anxiety within their marriage grows, the logic of time, space, and identity seem to slip away, splintering the narrative into a thrilling, schizophrenic ride down the darkest roads of the human psyche. It's a beautiful edifice of echoes to house an unwaveringly subjective cinema.

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#HipHopNewArrivals Top 5 Albums + Top 5 Vinyl: Smif-N-Wessun, Your Old Droog, Treacherous Three, Planet Asia, Lil Baby +

Posted by Billyjam, March 2, 2020 10:34pm | Post a Comment
                                                         Hip-Hop Top 5 Albums @ Amoeba 03:02:2020

Your Old Droog  "Jew Tang (feat. Matisyahu ) from the album Jewelry (Mongoloid Banks)

#1: Your Old Droog
Jewelry (Mongoloid Banks)

#2 Planet Asia All Gold Everything (Air Vinyl)

#3 Lil Baby My Turn (Capitol)

#4  Elcamino  Elcamino (Next Records)

#5  Jaden Smith ERYS (Roc Nation)

Rare Roots Vinyl Collection Drops, March 14 -- POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 2, 2020 03:50pm | Post a Comment

Due to concerns related to the coronavirus, this event is being postponed until further notice.

Join us at Amoeba San Francisco on Saturday, March 14th, at 11am when we unleash a recently acquired collection of rare Roots Music LPs!

This is a thousand-piece collection of original ‘50s & ‘60s rare Blues, Rock & Roll, Country, Tejano, Gospel, and Soul (with some World music for good measure!) in varying conditions. Most are priced between $20-75, with some outstanding exceptions, such as an original Epic pressing of At Home With Screamin' Jay Hawkins, an original UK Track edition of Jimi Hendrix' Are You Experienced, an original black label Chess edition of Howlin' Wolf's Moanin' In The Moonlight, and more!

Get here early because these records will be first come, first serve. Head to the Amoeba stage (in the northwest corner of the store) to browse these gems. All items are graded and priced. There will be staff on hand to help you view bagged items and to bring your choices to the cashiers. You must be in the store to purchase items for this one-day event. We won't be taking phone orders and we won't be putting these items on hold.

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