Amoeblog

Celebrating 500 Episodes of 'What's In My Bag?'

Posted by Amoebite, June 8, 2017 02:24pm | Post a Comment

500 Episodes of What's In My Bag?

Our "What's In My Bag?" adventure began nine years ago when "Weird Al" Yankovic came shopping at Amoeba Hollywood and caused a flurry of excitement among our entire staff. He graciously agreed to talk with us on camera (in the elevator room!) on his way out of the store. We didn't quite know what we were doing with the show at that point - or even that it would be a show. But even in that scrappy pilot there was still a magic moment at the end when a member of Brian Wilson's band stopped Al to compliment him on "Pancreas" (his Beach Boys "God Only Knows" parody). Al was clearly touched and we felt lucky to be witness that exchange. Thus, "What's In My Bag?" was born.

By 2009, the series had grown into a weekly feature and we were evolving stylistically. The series really found its audience and we had our first runaway hit in June 2010 with Die Antwoord's episode. They were visiting Los Angeles for the first time and Ninja's deer-in-the-headlights reaction to Amoeba was something everyone could relate to. That episode remains our highest viewed video to this day.

In 2013, we were honored to win a Webby Award and just last year we hit another milestone when we crossed 100,000 subscribers on our YouTube channel. "What's In My Bag?" has become our most popular feature and we are fortunate to be able to talk with musicians from all genres and eras, as well as filmmakers, actors, writers, fine artists, athletes, comedians, and more. Our viewers regularly make suggestions about who we should feature in upcoming episodes and they give us feedback about what they like and what they don't. It's amazing to watch our subscribers comment and compare episodes and provide insight into the series. They love it as much as we do!

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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
grace sings sludge life with dick album record review empty cellar sandwitches cooper  nic russo dick stusso bay area weird pop horro folk indie psychedelic san francisco

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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Interview with Hip-Hop Pioneer Love Bug Starski: Bronx Born MC/DJ Who Coined The Phrase "Hip-Hop"

Posted by Billyjam, June 7, 2017 10:51pm | Post a Comment

Along with DJ Kool Herc (the widely recognized godfather of hip-hop music/culture) and other oft referenced early pioneers of the Bronx born art form of hip-hop such as Coke La Rock, Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash, and Grand Wizzard Theodore is Love Bug Starksi. The DJ/MC born Kevin Smith is a legendary figure: one of hip-hop's first generation of core contributors. As such he is among the elite genre pioneers who helped shape the Bronx born urban culture from its 1970's beginnings.  Synonymous with the legendary, influential South Bronx hip-hop club Disco Fever, that recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, and its spinoff label Fever Records for whom he recorded such classics as "You Gotta Believe" and "Starski Live At The Disco Fever," years before then he contributed something even greater to the genre of hip-hop.  Love Bug Starski created the very term "hip-hop" which he worked into his early rap freestyles in the 1970's. It was years before there were rap records, and back when hip-hop was still a street phenomenon limited to the NYC borough of The Bronx.  A music lover from childhood, Note that while Cowboy from the Furious Five has also been credited with creating the term by some, Starski insists that is bull. Starski's career began when, as a preteen, he first became a record boy at the beginning of the '70's. From there his career took off back during the seminal years of hip-hop in the then rundown New York City borough of The Bronx. Now living in Las Vegas, where he DJs, the Amoeblog caught up with the artist by phone to talk on both his own personal history and that of hip-hop.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Karriem Riggins & J Rocc

Posted by Amoebite, June 6, 2017 12:15pm | Post a Comment

Karriem Riggins & J Rocc What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

Amoeba Hollywood was excited to have drummer/producer Karriem Riggins and turntablist J Rocc at the store recently to promote Riggins' latest album, Headnod Suite. Before their in-store performance the two went record hunting and shared their killer finds, which included some old favorites and an oddball pick or two.

Karriem Riggins Headnod SuiteKarriem Riggins is a jazz drummer, DJ, and hip-hop producer originally from Detroit. As a child, he played drums with his musician father and began producing hip-hop when he was in middle school. After high school, he moved to New York City, where he joined the Ray Brown Trio. His production and performance credits include work with Kanye West, Paul McCartney, Oscar Peterson, Esperanza Spalding, Roy Hargrove, The Roots, Common, Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli, KAYTRANADA, and J Dilla. His debut LP, Alone Together, was released on Stones Throw in 2012; his follow up, Headnod Suite, landed in early 2017.

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Hip-Hop Rap Up 06:05:17: Funky DL, Freddie Gibbs, Gensu Dean & WIse Intelligent, Mr. Lif & Akrobatik

Posted by Billyjam, June 5, 2017 11:45pm | Post a Comment
Hip Hop Top 5 06:05:17

1: Freddie GIbbs You Only Live 2wice vinyl EP (ESGN)

2: Funky DL Autonomy: The 4th Quarter 2 (Washington Classics)

3: Gensu DeanWise Intelligent G.o.D. (Mello Music Group)

4: Blacastan & Stu Bangas  The Uncanny Adventures Of Watson & Holmes  (Brick Records)

5: Slum Village Vol. O (Nestra Music Group)

The current top five is topped by the latest (new to vinyl) from the acclaimed hip-hop artist Freddie GIbbs: You Only Live 2wice on ESGN. Initially released two months ago, but now new on vinyl, 2wice is billed as an EP, but the eight track release clocks in at 32 minutes and features eight tracks. These include such tracks by the Gary, Indiana artist  as "Crushed Glass,"  "Phone Lit," "Amnesia" and "20 Karat Jesus."   Gibbs, who along with Ice-T was featured on the brand new EP release Late Night Blvd from $kinny, made headlines in recent weeks when he appeared on the premiere of the Viceland reality show The Therapist that features various celebrities sitting down with Los Angeles therapist Dr. Siri Sat Nam Singh to candidly discuss traumatic events and personal experiences.  In the Gibbs interview he openly  discussed his experience from two years ago when, in Austria, he accused of rape and later arrested and jailed and facing a possible ten years in prison. He talks about this case, of which he was acquitted back in September, and how it made him question a lot in his life and give up doing music altogether which, as proven by his 2017 release 2wice, he did not. 

rapist. The show features Los Angeles therapist Dr. Siri Sat Nam Singh talking with various rappers and other celebrities about traumatic events and deep psychological wounds.

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