Amoeblog

Todd is Godd: Rundgren tours his legendary album A Wizard, A True Star.

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, December 5, 2009 08:30am | Post a Comment
 todd rundgren a wizard a true star album cover tour 2009 san francisco live futurist rock concert
I have only ever twice before been fortunate enough to have enjoyed a live performance of an entire album from beginning to end. I'll never forget the dorky glee I felt once upon a time in 1990 hearing Geoff Tate of Queensryche ask his band mates a few songs into their show in support of their album Empire, "guys, shall we do Mindcrime?," only then to crush non-stop through their hour-long progressive rock-opera Operation: Mindcrime. Then there was the surprise and delight of hearing Joanna Newsom say during her show a couple of Christmases ago, "I'd like to perform my new album for you now," and just like that, her nearly hour long Ys magically unfurled its sails with everyone in attendance on board. However, Todd Rundgren's performance last Tuesday night of his stellar album A Wizard, A True Star at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco was a mess of fandom-fueled joy that I knew I was getting into and, to a certain extent, almost dreaded.
todd rundgren a wizard a true star awats tour fan art jacket embroidery needle craft
I mean, compared to the prior two experiences where my "being there when they unexpectedly played the album" aspect of the live performance became a highlight of each show, I wondered how will I look back on this --- a show where I know not only the set list beforehand, but also already anticipate the overall feeling that I get when listening to the album on my own terms. In other words, how could this show present anything but the record I love as a less-than-perfect rendition with low-lights glaring where the highlights would be (a lot like Todd's white-on-black hairdo actually). Maybe I was a little concerned as to Todd's ability to deliver, at age 61, his genre-smearing, progressive futuristic rock magnum opus of 1973 in a live, staged setting --- an album that has aged so well that Todd admits to caving in to fan demands for a tour when asked, "why this album," and "why now?" C'mon, who would go through all the trouble to embroider the back of their jacket with album art from a record that wasn't sent from Utopia itself? If the exemplary piece of fan craftage above (as seen at the show last Tuesday night) gives any indication, Rundgren's A Wizard, A True Star must be nothing less than the shit, impervious to crumbling under the constraints of staged presentation! Still there's more...
todd rundgren rocker style icon 1970's guitar god a wizard a true star tour 2009
I know now that I was wrong to doubt Rundgren's ability, regardless of age, to deliver anything but a jaw-dropping display of pure showmanship and theatricality. And I was wrong to expect the expected too. For one thing, I had no idea Todd was to be his own opening band. To everyone's surprise, Todd, flanked by three other dudes similarly clad in black on black and wearing black shades, took to the stage and, after announcing the world premiere of "Todd Rundgren's Johnson," played a robust set of Robert Johnson covers. Todd explained at one point that this particular cover band thing had something to do with either business or karmic obligations, probably both. In any case the set provided a means for a world class shredder like Rundgren to really strut his stuff and look effortlessly cool doing so. But that didn't last long, as Todd's taste for rotating guises in the second act, or rather the show we all came to see, had me wondering if Rundgren's "style icon" status has rendered him immune to aesthetic criticism or has been downright revoked.

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Edgar Allan Poe auction goes stratospheric ...

Posted by Whitmore, December 4, 2009 09:40pm | Post a Comment
Edgar Allan Poe Auction
“Man is an animal that diddles, and there is no animal that diddles but man.”
 
At Christies Auction House today in New York, an 1827 first edition copy of an Edgar Allan Poe poetry collection, Tamerlane and Other Poems, was sold for $662,500 -- the most ever for a 19th century book of poetry. The 40-page collection, and Poe’s very first publication, was inspired by the work of British poet Lord Byron. Only a dozen copies are known to exist of the fifty initially pressed. Oddly enough Poe did not attach his name to Tamerlane; the authoEdgar Allan Poe Tamerlaner is only indicated as "A Bostonian." Also sold at auction was a two-page, hand written manuscript containing the first 8 stanzas (of 16 stanzas) of "For Annie" ("Thank Heaven: the crisis --- the danger is past....") from 1849, written just months before his death at age 40. The manuscript, which was written for a one of Poe's loves, Nancy L. Richmond, far exceeded the $50,000-$70,000 estimate, netting a mind blowing $830,500 at auction, breaking the 19th century literary manuscript record.
 
The book and manuscript, both somewhat worn and wrinkled, came from the private library of television producer William E. Self (he was the executive in charge of production for such classic shows as Batman, Lost in Space, The Green Hornet, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, and Land of the Giants). Both pieces were sold to anonymous bidders.
 
“As for myself, I am simply Hop-Frog, the jester — and this is my last jest.”

New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood: Matias Aguayo, Ziggy Kinder, Kollektiv Turmstrasse and more

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, December 4, 2009 01:35pm | Post a Comment
HOUSE::TECHNO::HOUSE::TECHNO::HOUSE::TECHNO::HOUSE::TECHNO


MATIAS AGUAYO
Rollerskate 12"

"Rollerskate" is the first single from Matias Aguayo's full-length Ay Ay Ay (KOM 205LP/KOMP 076CD). Aguayo has already established significant buzz, and "Rollerskate" was already included on Pitchfork's "Best New Music" list. It's easy to get drawn into the organic earthiness of Aguayo's musicianship -- his voice is the source of the song, ingeniously layered and contextualized into what seems like an endless mantra. Remixes by Marcus Rossknecht, Diegors & The Don, Sanfuentes & Alex Thunders, and Rebolledo.



TIEFSCHWARZ - Fall In/Keep On 12”
 
N/A (FEAT. ROSINA) - Fables And Fairytales 12"

KZA - A 12"

BRIGITTE FONTAINE & KHAN - Fine Mouche Remixes 12"

LOSOUL - Care Remixes Pt. 1 12"


KOLLEKTIV TURMSTRASSE
First Day/Last Day 12"

"They have come a long way. Remixes for Hot Chip, releases on Cocoon, and part of the Diynamic family from the very beginning. So we are very proud to present the next release from our boys -- Christian Hilscher & Nico Plagemann, better known as Kollektiv Turmstrasse. They return with one of their finest tunes to date. Always loyal to their own label-mission, Music Wins Friends (Musik Gewinnt Freunde), this new release upholds this principle! With this new EP, they once again confirm that they are one of the very best in their class. And we are certain it will win them many new supporters for sure!"

First Day

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The Fantastic Mr Fox Is Indeed Fantastic!

Posted by Miss Ess, December 4, 2009 01:31pm | Post a Comment
fantastic mr fox wes anderson

Like many film fans, I have something of a complicated relationship with Wes Anderson's movies. While I love that they have a strong individual viewpoint that is unlike any other filmmakers' and is far from the norm, at the same time, they can be sort of...well...whiny.

royal tenenbaums

To illustrate with his older films, I would say that The Royal Tenenbaums was a smashing, story-book-like portrait of a profoundly dysfunctional family, each member with his or her own fantastical, intricate back history covered in full-on idiosyncratic detail. This, I loved.

darjeeling limited

Then, there's what I consider one of his lows: The Darjeeling Limited, which I wrote about here. To sum up though, in that film the self absorption of the characters and the overly labored acting and plot were total turn offs.

fantastic mr fox wes anderson

Anyway, I went to see his newest film, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, and was completely re-energized! It was an explosion of preciousness and warmth, from the carefully designed outfits on the puppets (corduroy suits and apple printed dresses) to the beauty of the Fox family's dollhouse-like home in a tree. The characters are darling puppets, yet they are each as multi- faceted and original as any others you've seen at the movies. This film takes Anderson's strengths -- his detail orientation and sense of whimsy (god, I hate that word, though it is apt here!) -- and plays them out to perfection. Oh yeah, and I enjoyed tfantastic mr fox wes andersonhe Beach Boys saturated sound track. It seems like it wouldn't work at all...but it does, and just adds to the charm.

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AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 12:04:09

Posted by Billyjam, December 4, 2009 09:00am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top FIve: 12:04:09
Black Keys, RZA, Blakroc, Mos Def
1) BlakRoc Blakroc  (V2/Cooperative)

2) Lil Wayne The Carter Documentary DVD (Cash Money/Universal)

3) Birdman PRICELE$$ (Cash Money/Universal)

4) DOOM Unexpected Guests (Gold Dust Media)

5) Juvenile Cocky and Confident (Atlantic Records)

Blakroc by BlakRoc, the number one new hip-hop release from the Hollywood Amoeba store this week, is one of those refreshing albums that pushes the boundaries of what rap or hip-hop is, or can be. The Blakroc project, which was initiated by rapper Jim Jones and produced by Damon Dash, is a large scale collaborative affair between the Black Keys (who you'll recall worked with Danger Mouse on their last album) and a slew of high profile hip-hop talents including Mos Def, Q-Tip, Raekwon, RZA, Pharaohe Monch, Ludacris, and the late ODB. But to label BlakRoc simply another rap-rock fusion (a melding that so often comes off sounding forced) is selling it short. The album comes off sounding fresh and never forced with the Black Keys' (guitarist & vocalist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney) dirty, guitar driven, big drum beat sound proving to be the perfect match for the album's numerous emcees. Because it is far from your typical cliche rap release, this album will not appeal to all rap fans, which is why it is so worth listening to. For a taste of this album, check out the video below for the album track "Ain't Nothing Like You (Hoochie Coo)" featuring Mos Def and Jim Jones.
Birdman Cash Money Lil Wayne
Cash Money Records holds down two new releases on the new Top Five, a CD and a DVD from Birdman and Lil Wayne respectively. The 90 minute documentary takes an in-depth look at the highly successful New Orleans rap artist Dwayne Carter Jr., aka Lil Wayne, aka Weezy, aka the self-proclaimed 'greatest rapper alive." It includes lots of interviews, behind the scenes segments, and, of course, concert footage. The movie, which won positive reviews when it screened at this year's Sundance Film Festival, also offers a pretty revealing look at Wayne and what makes him tick (and also what gets him high). You get to see the popular and prolific artist, who has been a star since his early teens, as an alternately funny and short-tempered fellow. Unfortunately -- due to the timeline of its creation -- the film doesn't include his latest legal problems (gun possession) and the likely jail time he may soon serve. There is a ten minute excerpt from the documentary below. 

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