Amoeblog

Vinyl Valentines: 20 Ways to Play Your Heart Out on Feb. 14th and Beyond!

Posted by Kells, February 13, 2019 10:33pm | Post a Comment
 vintage valentine valentines day vinyl record player phonograph anthropomorphic pun punny retro card
What's better than a box of chocolates, a dozen long stem roses, and greeting card featuring an anthropomorphic phonograph declaring "for the record" that you're "in the groove, Valentine"? Records, baby, records! This Valentine's Day, whether you're looking for ways to clue-in your crush, let your lover know you love 'em, or simply blot out any and all the notions of the day, consider giving the gift of a vinyl valentine to your loved ones or, better yet, to yourself. Short on ideas on where to begin, and can't get your head past novelty heart-shaped singles or 2003's The Love Below ("Every day is the 14th!")? Dig these titles for a start, then follow your heart! And remember, if you can't find it in our web store, make a date of it and come in to see what calls to you and your honey from our selves IRL. Or give us a call—if we have it in stock, we can get it out to you, valentine, xoxo.

eddie holman I love you vinyl valentines soul r&b ballads
Eddie Holman - I Love You 

This is the record that first came to my mind when pondering potential vinyl valentines. Every song a love song, every bit of it sounding like it must have been an instant classic soul sensation when it arrived on the scene. From the swaying horn-laden arrangements tinged with groovy guitar filigree to Eddie "hit those notes" Holman's impressive vocal range grounded in gentlemanly sentiments, this is just the sort of record that lonely girls and starry-eyed teen dreamers the world 'round surely live for. With its timeless sound and lovesick delivery, it just might not get any better than this. Whether you're enjoying a night in with the one you love or kickin' it all on your lonesome this Valentine's Day, this'll do you. Turn the lights down low and spin, flip, repeat...

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Best of 2018: Kelly's Top 5 Picks

Posted by Kells, December 31, 2018 03:35pm | Post a Comment
Kelly Rowland ‎Kelly song single destiny's child
It's that time of year again—the end! But before I dive into my five faves of 2018, I'd like to briefly salute Destiny's Child Kelly Rowland's new single "Kelly" for adding some much needed beef to the existing "Kelly" songs menu. It's a shameless strut of an anthem that blows the hatches off Air's sweetly space-crafted "Kelly Watch the Stars" and stomps the throat of Woody from Cheers' dopey "The Kelly Song". But for all it's sass (and "ass"), Rowland's "Kelly" can't surpass the scandalous charm of Del Shannon's wistfully two-timing "Kelly", not by my reckoning anyway. That's just this Kelly's opinion though, and, no matter what, it is good to know that that Kelly's "got flex", et cetera. In other words, i.e. her own words, "go Kelly go—go, go Kelly go"! 
 
Read on for more of this Kelly's opinions re: top five records of 2018, it's been one helluva year...

dick stusso in heaven hardly art best of 2018 roadhouse rock saloon country
BEST DAMN RECORD
Dick Stusso - In Heaven
(Hardly Art)

A Moving Tribute to Studio-Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata (RIP)

Posted by Kells, April 9, 2018 10:22pm | Post a Comment
isao takahata grave of the fireflies studio ghibli

Famed Animation juggernaut Studio Ghibli is best known for the work of two of its directors, Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. Both masters of the medium, the two legendary auteurs seem to challenge and inspire each other's creative output by employing contrasting aesthetic styles and work ethics, as much as their collective works consistently trounce the increasingly unimaginative box office bloaters made in, well, let's just say California. Their efforts are the stuff timeless, enduring classics are made of.

This past Thursday Isao Takahata, 82, died of lung cancer in a Tokyo hospital. When I learned of his passing I experienced a strange, instant cold sweat pang of a panicked feeling a sudden realization sometimes triggers. Nobody lives forever, and I didn't know the man personally, but I sensed a grave pressure drop-like feeling like I had lost a loved one. What could I possibly say about what his work meant to me in my life other than the simple truth: movies are the best, and Isao Takahata's films are so fully fantastic I always feel emotionally spent and high on enchantment after watching them. I could go on plodding away about how I appreciate Takahata's freewheeling yet meticulous approach to working, never compromising quality in no matter how large the deadlines loom, and how his love of realism is reflected not only in his work, but also in that of Miyazaki, his former apprentice, and how I agree his critically acclaimed 1988 World War II drama Grave of the Fireflies is one of the most gut-wrenchingly film experiences worth enduring, but that wouldn't be as fun to digest as what I have in mind—an actual moving tribute to Takahata's works (via gifs).

Best of 2017: Kelly's Personal Picks

Posted by Kells, December 22, 2017 07:45am | Post a Comment
kelly best of 2017 new music shit year burn down the past
sometimes the past burns itself down

This year has been, in a word, unbalanced. Thankfully there was a wonderful array of music and movies to take the edge off the chaotic instability. Here are ten or so of my personal favorite new releases that got me over and through this year's peaks and troughs...

 Once And Future Band  self-titled debut album vunyl S/T LP Castle Face Records
Once & Future Band - Once & Future Band
(Castle Face Records)

This molten monolith of masterful musicianship dropped back in January and, dammit, it is without a doubt the best record of the year. Sounding a little bit like a bygone vision of future sounds, I like to think of this album as the melodic equivalent of going thirty years into the future and replacing the plutonium fission reactor on your homemade time machine with Mr. Fusion before returning to 1985. You could wear yourself out trying to dial-in the potential influences that inform the shifting paradigm of sonic cues, fluid syncopation, beyond-the-friend-zone journal excerpts et cetera at work here, or you could just let go and let this progressive psychedelic jazz-rock splitter take the wheel. Either way, you'll be totally taken in by this beast. It rules!

Check out this trippy rainbow Rorschach sponge art video for "Rolando":



Light In The Attic Releases first Anthology for their Japan Archival Series

Posted by Kells, October 27, 2017 11:56pm | Post a Comment
Japan Archival Series Light In The Attic various artists collection Even A Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese Folk & Rock 1969-1973 rare kissa rock angura movement kissa jazz new music 1960s 60s tokyo scene

Record shopping in Japan is an incredible and humbling experience and, when in Tokyo, I enjoy exploring as many record stores as possible, regularly testing the limits of my willpower wallet while discovering one long-sought gem after another. What's more, records in Japan are more often than not found in great if not near mint condition and almost always come crisply wrapped in those snazzy resealable outer sleeves. Whether you're digging through one of Japan's many mega music emporiums, curated record boutiques, or any old hideaway/warehouse situation stuffed windows-to-the-walls with miscellaneous wax, the scope of excellently kept, hard-to-find vinyl stocked in record stores here never fails to amaze. That said, scoring coveted original releases by Japanese artists at a "nice price" can be surprisingly tough, which means acquiring the same prized/pricey titles stateside can be doubly difficult and hardly worth it (itinerant flippers be damned). Enter the warm glow of Light In The Attic Records...
Japan Archival Series Light in the Attic label Japanese music anthologies collection various artists vinyl
Since announcing their Japan Archival Series last April, the Seattle-based label has finally brought their inaugural release for the project to US ears with Even A Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese Folk & Rock 1969-1973, the "first-ever fully licensed compilation of this music to be released outside Japan". This collection of nineteen tracks spans an era when Japan's youth culture shifted from championing the Surf instrumental (think The Ventures) Eleki trend and the Beatles-inspired Group Sounds (G.S.) movement that dominated Japanese pop culture in the 1960s to more poignant, living room singer/songwriter sounds reminiscent of Bob Dylan, mellow Laurel Canyon boho vibes, soft psychedelia, and miscellaneous Americana (à la The Band and Neil Young). Fueled by mass student protest demonstrations and an underground ("angura") movement bent on subverting long-standing stuffy traditions, young musicians rejected Beatlemania replications in favor creative authenticity, giving birth to fresh genres like the aptly named New Music and Kissa Rock (literally "Café Rock, so-called due to the venues they frequently played). Some of Japan's most beloved and influential music-makers made a name for themselves during this crucial period, and many of those heavy-hitters whose early works are featured on this comp would go on to further enrich the fabric of music history in Japan and beyond long after the angura movement's hippie heyday. For example, Haruomi Hosono, who lends his distinct James Taylor-esque vocals to two tracks on this compilation (both as a member of influential Folk Rock band Happy End and with a track from his 1973 self-titled solo debut), would later form the innovative electronic band Yellow Magic Orchestra with Ryuichi Sakamoto and Yukihiro Takahashi (whose Sadistic Mika Band bandmate Kazuhiko Kato also has a solo track featured on this comp). This example is by no means representative of the extent of Hosono's legacy as one of the most important figures in Japanese music history and his career trajectory is but one slippery slope of many rabbit holes one can fall into exploring via this compilation. Plus, aside from being a lovely aesthetic object featuring original artwork by illustrator Heisuke Kitazawa, the total package includes extensive liner notes and bios (put together by compiler/producers Yosuke Kitazawa and Jake Orrall) that dig deeper into this music that has been, as Light in The Attic puts it, "tantalizingly out of reach for decades" while setting the stage for overlaps and other points of interest that'll surely connect this particular anthology to forthcoming releases and reissues for the Japan Archival Series.

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