Amoeblog

Such a Vision: Grace Sings Sludge's Red Light Museum

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, November 24, 2014 07:14pm | Post a Comment
grace sings sludge cooper singer songwriter sandwitches last years friend red light museum empty cellar bay area artist painter
photo via sludgegrace.tumblr.com

There are plenty of divas and dime-a-dozen darlings moving through the vanity fair on any given day, but there is only one Grace Cooper in existence. An artist, singer, and songwriter known in part for her countless collaborations with local visionaries and troubadours aplenty, as well as for her contributions as one-third of the oft celebrated and much missed Bay Area "girl band" The Sandwitches, Grace has lately released a new collection of songs as Grace Sings Sludge, an alias that serves as a monicker for her mostly-solo show, one that is apparently executed entirely on her own terms.

Following up from her past two Grace Sings Sludge releases with San Francisco’s Secret Seven Records, This Time It’s Personal and Last Year’s Friend, this new self-released album, Red Light Museum (via Empty Cellar), is a heady potion of lust, devotion, and darkened encounters that seems to be a more disturbed affair compared its predecessors, in a good way. One bewitching example of this is the opening track, "Difficult to Luv," what begins as an intimate, barely-there rhythmic apparition that slowly slips it's limbs around you, easing into a slow-handed throbbing inquisition for the "Jesus Christ of love" -- see the cattitudes aplenty video for the song, below:


Morrison Hotel Gallery to exhibit collection of bygone Stevie Nicks Polaroid self-portraits

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, October 6, 2014 09:45pm | Post a Comment

Stevie Nicks Morrison Hotel Gallery polaroid self portrait gallery show fleetwood mac
image credit Stevie Nicks/Morrison Hotel Gallery

Stevie Nicks may have found fame in Fleetwood Mac, but she is nothing if not her own super star, apparently. Concurrent with the October 7th release of her new solo album 24 Karat Gold - Songs from the Vault and her upcoming tour with the fully reunited Buckingham Nicks era Fleetwood Mac line-up, Morrison Hotel Gallery will debut Stevie's 24 Karat Gold photographic exhibit featuring a collection of Nicks' intimate and meticulously executed Polaroid self-portraits created while at home and on the road between 1975 and 1987. The exhibit begins in New York City on October 10th and 11th at 201 Mulberry Street, moving from there on to the Morrison Hotel Gallery Loft at 116 Prince Street for the month of October. Prints will be available for sale through the website, the gallery in Soho and and through Morrison Hotel Gallery's Los Angeles location at the Sunset Marquis Hotel, October 12th to the 21st.

Given that many of the songs recorded for this new album were written between 1969 and 1987, this exhibition presents a fitting glimpse into the clandestine musings of an artist at work. "I always hoped that there would be some kind of an outlet for them," Nicks says of these images. "When I started looking back at these songs I wrote years ago to select what I would record for my new album, I began to look at all the Polaroids I had taken during that time. For every love affair I had, there are pictures. "

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Fleeting Phases: Falling for Once and Future Band

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, September 28, 2014 07:25pm | Post a Comment
once and future band brain ep mouth magazine record vinyl debut san francisco prog psych rock Joel Robinow (keyboards/guitar/vocals), Raj Ojha (drums/recording engineer) and Eli Eckert (bass/guitar/vocals)

Sheesh, it's been a minute since I've thrown my two cents into this here pot and I've got a lot of pennies to spend. So far, 2014 has been a damn good year for new music and I would like, if I may, to take you back to May when a local band dropped one hell of a debut EP for the ages.

Seemingly fixed somewhere between derivative approximations recalling the Crimson courtiers of Progressive Rock and master multi-part harmonizers of yore like, for example, maybe Wishbone Ash or Bubble Puppy, it could be said that Oakland's Once and Future Band has calculated dead reckoning in waters more well known than uncharted. However, this assessment is flawed. Roughly two minutes into the sprawling eponymous opening track of their debut EP, Brain, when lead vocalist, guitarist, high synth-sayer, and man behind the dream Joel Robinow (of Howlin' Rain, also wearing an exceptionally well designed OAFB tee, right over there) sings, "everyone knows ‘cept yourself that these phases are fleeting, time to take stock and face up to the path life is leading", it's time to give up and give in. The nearly nine minute saga advances not unlike said fleeting phases, progressing along most unpredictably in stone grooves, lucid pulses, transitory textures, and ascending arpeggios, executed with a passion for sound and vision so palpable that any trifling comparison made to apparent forebears would seem a dull and heartless pursuit. Considering the first track alone, it is clear that this band possesses something of a sonic timelessness, a quality that perhaps gives some credence to wanton Steely Dan-ish, CSNY et cetera Classic Rock banalogies, but is rather more a result of a fortuitous confluence of unabashed creativity and masterful musicianship. Fact: these guys make music magical, fanciful, adventurous, and valuable -- every second worth the effort. Once and Future Band simply rules. And they would still rule even if Rick Wakeman had said "no" to Yes.

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Joanna Newsom and the Magical Tour of 2004

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, March 21, 2014 04:20pm | Post a Comment
Joanna Newsom with Kevin Barker, Old Ironsides, Sacramento CA, July 10, 2004. Photo by Alissa Anderson. The Family Jams 2004 tour documentary devandra banhart vetiver new album 2014 harp freak folk nevada city california
Joanna Newsom with Kevin Barker at Old Ironsides, Sacramento CA, July 10, 2004. Photo by Alissa Anderson.

Once upon a time, or nearly ten years ago, a couple of bands combined their like-minded pursuit of music, travel, and kindred jamming and took to the road for what would later be known as the "Magical Tour of Two Thousand and Four" or The Family Jams, as revealed in Kevin Barker's tour documentary of the same name. Perhaps a more accurate description of the happening would be to say that it was an extended jaunt comprised of artists caught in Devendra Banhart's orbit at the time -- an Earthbound constellation of celestial talents that, for better or for worse, birthed the term Freak Folk. Though the documentary captures intimate performances and would-be private moments of many hearts and artists, the camera focuses mainly on Banhart, Vetiver, and Joanna Newsom.

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Fantasy March: Campaigning for Genre Awareness

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, March 10, 2014 02:20pm | Post a Comment
amoeba music san francisco fantasy film cinema movie endcap trend trendcap magic knights wizards princess damsel fairy tale legend dungeons dragons game of thrones warfaring strangers darkscorch canticlesbootleg movie poster conan the destroyer ghana africa arnold grace jones fantasy magic comic book hero film adaptation

This month at Amoeba SF we're forging a fellowship for Fantasy genre awareness and appreciation! Given the recent release of Numero Group's most excellent "one comp. to rule them all" collection of Dungeons & Dragons inspired pre-Heavy Metal underground Rock, Warfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticles, and the impending Game of Thrones hype-a-thon building up to the premiere of the HBO show's fourth season on April 6th, we figured the month of March could do for a heady dose of Ice and Fire-fueled cinematic dream-fasting -- a visual poultice with which the reality-weary may allay their workaday woes, watching. Do keep an vigilant eye out for our Fantasy endcap at Amoeba SF featuring golden genre gems like these from the nineteen-eighties:
 

dragonslayer fantasy film 1981

Dragonslayer (1981) in which a young wizard's apprentice (Peter MacNichol of Ally McBeal and Ghostbusters 2 fame) must kill a virgin-snacking dragon to save the King's daughter who has been chosen by the kingdom's lottery system as the next sacrifice in line to keep the beast's appetite for destruction at bay.

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