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MASSIVE METAL Vinyl Collection Acquired by Amoeba SF Hits the Shelves This Weekend!

Posted by Kells, August 14, 2012 01:05pm | Post a Comment


Attention all METAL heads
: last weekend a behemoth metal vinyl collection descended upon Amoeba Music's San Francisco location!!! Hundreds of records spanning from roughly 1980 to the early-1990's era of vinyl production disruption, including virtually every style of metal imaginable from heavy, hard, hair (glam), thrash, speed, sleaze, and everything in between, including some far-out regional private press pieces. This hoard of remarkable bangers are in excellent condition or maiden (i.e. factory sealed). We're busy readying the beast for release in stages with the first wave to be presented for sale this weekend on Saturday, August 18th. Come feast your eyes, and beware of Stevil and metal Ben's "Buy Or Die" maxim!


The images that follow are only a taste of the overall scope and breadth of this collection, from Accept to Znöwhite. While details concerning the who, what, and whyfores behind the collection remain deliciously mysterious, I can relay (on a personal note) that confronting the prowess and megaforces latent in this darkened pain cave's worth of vinyl treasure is enough to render one's powers physical regulation helpless. I went rogue. And much like attempting an impromptu dual-impression of Nitro's Jim Gillett and Michael Angelo Batio, I found myself short of breath, overwhelmed, and somehow unworthy.

For me, one of the two most impressive pieces to surface in this collection are Mötley Crüe's debut Too Fast For Love,  independently pressed on the band's own Leathür Records label. These were the records that the band purportedly tossed out into the audience during their earliest gigs... you know, back when Nikki Sixx used to light his legs on fire. I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't have, at one time, considered giving my life for a chance to be among those who actually scored this record that way. But then that is the kind of thinking that comes of teenage years bookended by cheesey plastic rock 'n roll and proto-punk thrash metal, ever heeding liner notes that warned of "masked backwards messages."

The other record that made me do a double take was Odin's Don't Take No For An Answer EP. Perhaps most widely known for being featured in Penelope Spheeris' documentary The Decline of the Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years, Odin was a band seemingly poised to claim the "Next Big Thing!" status in the late-80's Hollywood rock scene. A memorable moment of the rockumentary depicts sleazy promoter Bill Gazzari, along with his newly crowned rock 'n' roll bimbo, er, winner of the 1987 Miss Gazzari Dance Contest, exhibiting an uncomfortably detached squareness as they chant "Odin! Odin! Odin!" heralding vocalist Randy O. & co. to the stage for a live performance. Trotting out in a maelstrom of constructed glamor, Randy's leather-framed naked ass thrusts in to the rhythm of his best Tom Keifer impersonation (nobody and I mean nobody does Tom Keifer like Tom Keifer, nevermind that Cinderella still resides at the very height of under-appreciated cornerstone acts of the era), caterwauling the lyrics to "Little Gypsy" with a level cocksuredness that only comes of a personal belief that one's band is about to become multi-millionaires. Back then, when MTV used to regularly air Decline after Headbanger's Ball, I too believed the hype and it is likely that I would have bought the record from the local soundhole if I could. Knowing that the band would never really "make it" only compounds the attraction to this rare relic of throwaway trashiness and broken dreams that characterized the once-upon-a-time Hollywood rock scene.

ANYWAY, enough about my interests, here's more shots of the collection. Get there early and LET THEM EAT METAL!




You've Got Another Thing Comin': 30 Years of Screaming For Vengeance!

Posted by Kells, August 13, 2012 11:45am | Post a Comment

When it comes to metal, whether it be heavy, hard, or hairy, the one thing that really hurts my feelings is a poorly mastered recording. While I admit I possess very little knowledge on the subject of mastering (however informative this link should prove) it would seem that time and inevitable technological developments have redefined what a properly mastered record should sound like, nevermind that my reckoning of a ill-mastered metal record has everything to do with volume control. Putting on an exemplary recording like Judas Priest's Screaming For Vengeance only to discover the maximum volume setting worthy of a dental visit is an insult to the ear and the slap to the id; "why can't I make this any louder", you lament. I feel your pain, people. I too am screaming for vengeance!


Which is why I am particularly stoked about the upcoming September third celebratory reissue of Judas Priest's Screaming For Vengeance - the 30th Anniversary Special Edition, containing not only the remastered original album plus six bonus tracks, but also a live DVD from the 1983 US festival show filmed in San Bernadino, CA on May 29, 1983.I know, you're probably thinking, Priest has already seen to the digital remastering of most of their catalog in 2001, no? Sound hounds and intense listens have generated a clash of opinions concerning just how beneficial the overall remaster treatment was. While I don't pretend that my ears are trained to recognize minutiae apparent in the thankfully LOUD 2001 Priest remasters, my favorite complaint directed at the "creepy, crawly knob-twiddling" Jon Astley inflicted upon the reissue of British Steel compares the end result to "Edith Bunker being gang raped by a swarm of castrated locusts" -- an observation that potentially bodes ill for any serious audiophile.

However, run-of-the-gauntlet banger chicks, like me, can get down with the good stuff no matter how it's broken off (*coughs* vinyl, preferably) and I am ever hopeful that this particular 2012 reissue (albeit CD only) signals a trend in reigniting an appreciation for the pioneers, turbo lovers, and defenders of the metal faith, NWOBHM or otherwise,  like Halford & co. It must be stated, as a standalone inclusion, the footage of Priest performing at the 1983 US Festival that accompanies this anniversary presentation is amazing! Having only recently enjoyed viewing their live in Dallas circa 1986 Priest...Live! VHS I would be lying if I said I wasn't ready to light my couch on fire while watching this crispy new, almost thirty-year-old footage while spending a quiet night in very soon [see promo below].

Fun fact: the US Festival was intended to be a celebration of evolving technologies; a marriage of music, computers, television and people - organized by Steve Wozniak formerly of Apple Computer. This show was filmed at the second, and what turned out to be last, US Festival in 1983. The Sunday was the "Heavy Metal Day", i.e. "It was the day new wave died and rock n' roll took over". It set the single-day concert attendance record for the US with an estimated 375,000 people - insane!

Judas Priest have this to say about this memorable day in metal history:

'On the day that we performed, we flew in by helicopter - and the first sight we saw was that of thousands of abandoned cars piled up around the crests of the hills that surrounded the festival arena, which as we went over took our breath away. For there below us, spread throughout hundreds of acres was a massive crowd – over three hundred thousand strong! The summer heat was raging and combined with the hot Santa Ana winds made for a scorching metal furnace on stage.'


Jacked Up on the Irons: top ten reasons NOT to miss the Maiden England 2012 tour!

Posted by Kells, August 4, 2012 03:07pm | Post a Comment

Iron Maiden may be senior classmen in the school of rock but they manage to keep outperforming (while, in most cases, shaming to filth) touring rockers the world 'round with their professionalism and showmanship. Last night's show at the Shoreline Amphitheater (even singer Bruce Dickinson seemed perplexed as to just where the venue was supposed to represent, resorting to, "Scream for me Shoreline!" after asking, "Where the fuck are we supposed to be? San Francisco? Oakland?") was so phenomenally epic, a two hour an epoch in my life. And, according to further Bruce banter between songs, due to the limitations of the venue -- I believe he referred the Shoreline as an "old hippie bandshell" -- the band wasn't able to fully bring their show to life. Nevertheless, they certainly seemed to pack as many pyrotechnics, flames and Eddies on stage as they could in the hopes that, as per Bruce's comments, "burn fucker down to they can build a better one!". Here's hoping they achieve their fully realized set up tonight in Sacramento.

Anyway, find yourself on the fence about hopping the Maiden train this summer? Here's ten good random-order reasons (i.e. every reason could and should be reason number one anyway) to drink the kool-aid!

Reason number one: event tees! The Maiden England 2012 California event tee, pictured above, features Eddie riding an unchained bear, ripping the Golden Gate a new one? Yes please! I'm lucky I got me one of these last night as they were sold out even before the show began. Looking forward to wearing this sweet baby out. 

Reason number one: love that patent twin axe-attack "guitarmony" sound? Man do I ever. And Maiden one-ups the advance with the promise of a triple threat what with Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Janick Gers on guitar. Add to that the galloping bassmageddon of founding member Steve Harris and there you have the classic recipe for a flaming face-melting of harmonized rifflines.

Reason number one: here comes Eddie!


Reason number one: Christian soldiers and Jesus freaks still congregate outside shows like this. One of them brandished a "Get out of HELL free" coupon. In retrospect I feel should've taken it, just in case.


Reason number one: Dave Murray's facial expressions during guitar solos


Reason number one: the setlist includes "The Prisoner", "Seventh Son of A Seventh Son" (first time played live since Dec. 12, 1988 for both songs) and "Phantom of the Opera" which Bruce calls "une petite histoire française" in this here footage captured during Maiden's most recent pillaging of Motreal.



Reason number one: being more that a bit of an aeronautical nerd myself, I feel Bruce deserves the compulsory mention of his being not only Iron Maiden's vocal frontman but also piloting Ed Force One, the band's personal flying carpet thus allowing them bring their show to fans in far flung locales like Bali. Two paychecks Bruce, good on you.


Reason number one: this!


Reason number one: this!



Reason number one: this...



and this:


UP THE IRONS!!!

Another long overdue Lizzy vinyl reissue finally sees the Light (in the Attic)!

Posted by Kells, August 4, 2012 01:25pm | Post a Comment

We the people of Amoeba Music mayn't always hear ear to ear when it comes to mutual enjoyment of preferred musical genres and styles but it would seem that roughly ten out of ten Amoeba employees agree that Thin Lizzy is the hardest, heaviest most essential band of rockers, Irish or otherwise, ever assembled. Though they are perhaps more widely appreciated for their mid-career jukebox jammers like "The Boys Are Back In Town" (c'mon, who hasn't heard this one), the Bob Seger penned rocker "Rosalie" (oft covered by Motörhead), and new takes on traditional tunes like "Whiskey in the Jar" (Metallica, schmeh-tallica), Seattle-based label Light In The Attic Records has lately seen to the proper vinyl reissue of Lizzy's 1971 self-titled debut, an album that plays like a slightly psychedelic folk tinged early dawn portrait of singing bassist Phil Lynott, drummer Brian Downey, and guitarist Eric Bell

 
Thin Lizzy - "The Friendly Ranger at Clontarf Castle"
 
Dropping the needle on this long sought reish (I've had nothin' but bad luck procuring an original Decca copy for myself over the years) that a full-on night-before-Christmas-ish feeling came over me as the album's familiar portal opened once again with the simple poetic strains of lead-off track "The Friendly Ranger at Clontarf Castle" --- a sentiment that I was pleased to discover mirrored by the extensive liner notes penned by Kevin "Sipreano" Howes (see also the Jamaica-Toronto series, Rodriguez Cold Fact and Coming From Reality, Monks, Mowest anthology) featuring a recent in-depth interview with Eric Bell, and unseen archival imagery. The lowdown on the rest of the product specs exclusive to this LITA joint are as follows: original master tape transferring by Sterling Sound and re-mastering by Dave Cooley (Elysian Masters), 180-gram virgin black vinyl, original album art reproduction (both UK and US versions, the latter included on the reverse of the gatefold - excellent!). Also, it comes with a tasty poster depicting a long, lean Lynott in profile (fun fact: mine came with two of these - score!).

In an attempt to close out this post by summoning up the prose what best expresses my esteem for this record, I elect to share a little of what the LITA folks stated so succinctly concerning Thin Lizzy:

Don’t worry rock freaks; this one is for the black and blues lovers, midnight ravers, and parking lot bangers. We don’t take this mammoth responsibility lightly. Phil, Eric, and Brian and the legions of diehard Thin Lizzy supporters deserve the best and our best we’ve given. It’s funny how 1971 can sound so contemporary, a testament to the music, power, strength, feeling, and sensitivity of Thin Lizzy, three out-of-their-heads Dublin rockers who gave their heart and soul for a monster dose of rock and roll, influencing thousands upon thousands right up to the present. Thanks for the music good fellows.

Too right.

In A Cloud II - MORE New Sounds From San Francisco!

Posted by Kells, July 17, 2012 12:23pm | Post a Comment
Looking to scope the lay of the local pop scene in San Francisco? Seek no further than In A Cloud...II!


Finally, the long anticipated sister release to the initial In a Cloud - New Sounds from San Francisco compilation the fine folks at Secret Seven Records delivered back in 2010 is ready for her coming out par-tay! Like her predecessor, In A Cloud II: New Sounds from San Francisco features 13 previously unreleased recordings from some of the city by the bay's finest, including: Vetiver, Ty Segall, Hannah Lew (of Grass Widow), Wymond Miles (of Fresh & Onlys), Chuck Prophet, Lucky Eyes, Will Sprott (of The Mumlers), Sonny & The Sunsets, Paula Frazer, Kelley Stoltz, Bad Backs (featuring Andrew Kerwin of Trainwreck Riders & Bianca Sparta of Erase Errata), Tim Cohen (of Fresh & Onlys and Magic Trick), and Papercuts with fresh-to-death cover art by Simon Evans. Unlike the previous In A Cloud jammer, this sweet baby is a limited vinyl-only release with 650 copies pressed so don't go sleepin' in on the release date (that would be today, y'all sleepyheads). The Hannah Lew track, "Octopus via Satellite", currently has my heart hypnotized like a gracefully executed intergalactic postcard, it's hard to imagine this would've could've ever been a throw-away creation. Get yours today at Amoeba Music!

p.s. the only way one might one-up experiencing a gathering of local lovelies as put forward by this exemplary comp is to double down on the support by attending the record release show for In A Cloud II this Thursday July 19 at Amnesia, 9pm. Check out the flier below for details 'n things!


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