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End-of-Summer Cinema Binge: Crazy 80s Beach Movies!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, September 21, 2017 11:20pm | Post a Comment
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Summer is over, or is it? Well, it certainly doesn't have to be! For the last few weeks I've been mostly landlocked, cooped up and unable to make it to the beach or anywhere else due to some bad luck and doctor's orders, but that hasn't stopped me from chasing my stupidest end-of-Summer seaside shenanigan-filled dreams by couch-surfing a good ol' beach movie marathon. And not just any old sandy surf movies, but specifically those bitchin' beach features from the golden age of VHS rentals and late night Cable TV programming—the 1980s!

Listed below in no particular order are sixteen films that, for better or for worse, fit the bill; feel free to let me know if any crucial contenders have been omitted (I had to pull the plug before hitting the bottom of the barrel). As I mentioned in my previous Amusement Park movie binge post, a lot of these titles are likely to be found used in our stores, especially if you're seeking to own them on VHS or LaserDisc. Please check the links to our online store or give us a call to see if we've got what you're looking for and we'll do our darndest to make your crazy 80s beach movie/tangible format dreams come true the old fashioned way, dude.

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Where the Boys Are '84 (1984)

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

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, July 31, 2017 10:11pm | Post a Comment
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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.
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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.

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

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, July 1, 2017 11:17pm | Post a Comment
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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!

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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!

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Worry Me: Horror Folk/Pop weirdo Grace Sings Sludge returns with new album Life With Dick

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, June 7, 2017 11:26pm | Post a Comment
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Back again with another batch of demented home recordings from her very own twilight zone, former Sandwitches and Fresh & Onlys siren Grace Cooper, a.k.a. Grace Sings Sludge, continues to bleed out her uniquely brooding singer/songwriter stylings via Life With Dick, her new confessional LP/CD out courtesy of Empty Cellar Records, thus ensuring that all things strange and amazing haven't entirely vanished from the Bay Area.

Evocative of intimate interiors and a labor for love, or "the weariness of a woman giving in to a love requited" as Empty Cellar so perfectly puts it, the self-produced sound of Life With Dick is neither crunchy nor polished, but seems to teeter on the edge of a reality that alternates between ominous assertion and a sultriness so creepy it'll make you check your six if you dare listen to it alone, headphoned, in the dark (recommended!). Sometimes the vibe tilts toward the otherworldly as raw, layered melodies drift and amble in and out of sonic focus as if attempting to haunt every moment they're allotted—pianos echoing here, guitars heaving there, with now-and-then hallow drum lines (courtesy of Nick Russo) sauntering along beneath Grace’s emphatic vocal clips, plaintive wails, and whispered half-breaths. There is also a pervasive after hours type of jazziness that slinks in and around almost every song, coloring Grace's achingly bare vocals a deep rouge (a darker, redder version of the opening credits for the 1975 film The Rocky Horror Picture Show comes immediately to mind). 

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Ten More Recommended Picks for Record Store Day 2017 (for folks who don't know what to get)!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, April 18, 2017 09:11pm | Post a Comment
Ever felt lost at Amoeba or so overwhelmed by the selections that you forget what you're looking for? Or, worse yet, you don't even know what to get?
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Generally speaking, it can be tough to stay focused at Amoeba, and on Record Store Day, what with the increased scope of releases both in terms of limited RSD offerings and other freshly stocked new arrivals, not to mention the scope of the crowd, the struggle can be all too real. Each year come Record Store Day we do our very best to provide everyone with personal copies of our comprehensive RSD product list as well as directions to where these items are stocked in the store, and we always try to accommodate all individual queries, quandaries, and quests with safety and fairness. Sometimes this is as simple as recommending something to someone who doesn't know what they want, but knows they definitely want something because it's what? Record Store Day! With that in mind, I've created a list of RSD product picks especially for those folks who don't know what they want, but surely want something.

For more Record Store Day recommendations, please see the links at the bottom of this post. Happy hunting everyone thank you for continued support!

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Johnny Cash - The Johnny Cash Children's Album (LP)

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