Amoeblog

INTERVIEW WITH KAREN DERE OF THE GIANT PEACH

Posted by Billyjam, September 29, 2009 08:03am | Post a Comment
In 1999 the independent East Bay hip-hop-themed online company The Giant Peach was formed by Karen Dere with planning help from Stinke, whom she had worked closely with at the Hierogyphics' company (the pioneering Oakalnd hip-hop entity that was one of the very first to embrace the Internet in the mid 1990's -- years before most people even had an email address, nevermind a fully functional online Kid Robotdistribution outlet for indie hip-hop). Working at the Hieros' company for several years coupled with the previous years' experience and expertise she culled from her time as a DJ, etc. at KALX radio, Karen had gained enough insight and knowledge to launch The Giant Peach.

Initially created as "a means for independent labels (with an emphasis on hip hop) and artists to produce their own line of garments and distribute their products to the masses" -- as its mission statement lays out -- the Giant Peach (GP) has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade but has still pretty much stuck to its initial plan of creating a bridge between artists/labels and fans and of exhaustively carrying the clothing lines of popular design artists and collectives, and always with an emphasis on those from the Bay Area.

Currently celebrating its ten year anniversary, the GP has a store within a store this month at TRUE in the Haight (near Amoeba SF), and, I am told, this will expand into October. Last week I stopped by the GP's product-packed East Bay warehouse/offices to talk to Karen about her company and capture on video (above) some of the cool items for sale on its website. I also followed up with a text interview (below) to cover some things we didn't get to in the video version.

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Get Your Medieval Rocks Off with Helena Espvall and Masaki Batoh's Overloaded Ark

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, September 29, 2009 08:00am | Post a Comment
 Helena Espvall and Masaki Batoh second album overloaded ark on drag city
The last time Helena Espvall (of Espers) and Masaki Batoh (of Ghost) got together to create an album the end result resembled the kind of sound-tapestry two people of like-minded musical musings might weave over an ocean of space and time. Their first record (self-titled on Drag City) generated a quiet excitement from those of us at Amoeba familiar with the "new folk" weirdness of Espers and the psych-rock wyrdness of Ghost and seemed a sound-marriage of sorts where faded-about-the-edges Scandinavian tunes and other haunting works, both borrowed and original, mingled freely on relic-esque instruments. Nothing there suggests the kind of epic, blast-from-the-distant-past sonic onslaught of Overloaded Ark, Espvall and Batoh's second release on Drag City and the latest source of a new take on a very, very old favorite song. 
overloaded ark helena epsvall masaki batoh second album drag city
Overloaded Ark's opening track, titled "Little Blue Dragon," is a better known by the name of the merry dance it was originally composed for way back in 14th century Naples: the saltarello. It is played in a very fast triple-meter and named after its leading leap-step, in Italian, saltare. Of course, the composer credit for this song goes to the ubiquitous Anoymous who rules the bulk of any Early Music bin selections, but a version of the song, aptly titled "Saltarello," was made famous by that eclectic, neoclassical Australian band better known as Dead Can Dance (and if you've ever been to a Renaissance Faire or a Goth gathering where "dark" world music fits the rotation then I'll bet you a flagon of mead you've heard it before). Another version of the song, performed by Corvus Corax --- an outrageously outfitted German band who champion medieval music and authentic instruments, seems to share the same vein Espvall and Batoh tapped to give their "Little Blue Dragon" life. Espvall and Batoh's take on the Black Death era romp pounds out a feverish pace with traditional instrumentation at the forefront and electrified psychedelic meanderings fleshing out the background. It's really the perfect sort of aural "pants-ing" I felt I needed as a listener expecting to hear an extension of Espvall and Batoh's past works, only to be blown away with their new attitude. 

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New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 10/02/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, September 28, 2009 03:30pm | Post a Comment
 

New Electro/Techno 12"s Coming this Weekend:

break sl city wasteland


Break Sl
CITY WASTELAND PART 2 12"
PHP040 

Part 2 starts with "MOVE," true-school techno. "DIRTBOMB" has a raw, bluesy house feel, and on the flip are the Detroit influenced "WEIRD DANCER" and the vinyl exclusive "TFF," which delivers intense and acid-like drum layers. Chicago galore!



Falko Brocksieper
ADOBE EP 12"
CNTX35 

The first cut is downright mysterious...deep stacked chords play with your ears. "SOUTH EAST" follows a Detroit-ish motif as a pan flute pangs the air, keeping the high ends in focus. Slicked out tech house made from the man with a keen sense of what keeps us lost in a groove.  


Featurecast 
GRANDMASTER CAST EP 12" BIBB004

Various 
INTO BATTLE EP (FEATURECAST) 12" BOMBBAT1 

Aldo Vanucci 
BSTRD BOOTS #9 12" BJX009

Aquasky 
DEEP FAT FREQUENCIES EP #1 12" PASA051

Dark Phayd-R 
MADE YOU SHACK UP 7" BP7003

Deadmau5 
GHOSTS'N'STUFF 12" MAU5020T

Dre Skull 
I WANT YOU (BOK BOK RMX) 12" BOKBOK01

Falko Brocksieper 
ADOBE EP 12" CNTX35

Playdoe 
FREEZE STEP (STARKEY REMIX) 12" RWINA003  

Various 
BEAT DIMENSIONS VOL.2 #3 12" RH10912C    

ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL DIRECTOR SASCHA GERVASI INTERVIEW

Posted by Billyjam, September 28, 2009 01:37pm | Post a Comment


The wonderful summer-long Amoeba's Monday Movies @ Space15Twenty in Hollywood (the weekly free outdoor screenings of music-related films curated by Amoeba Music) ends tonight with a screening of the highly recommended Anvil! The Story of Anvil. If you have to miss the screening, the DVD of this underdog story about endearing Canadian metal band Anvil comes out next week, October 6th, on DVD, and will be available at Amoeba Music. Last Monday evening there was another Amoeba-curated screening of the film up in the Bay Area at Elis Mile High Club

I just loved this film so much since it is totally unlike your typical, run of the mill music documentary. LA Weekly summed it up pretty well when they dubbed it "Hilarious and achingly touching." In fact, it is so touching and personal, yet always respectful of its subjects, the two lifelong metalhead buddies Robb Reiner and Steve "Lips" Kudlow, that you instantly connect and feel watching it that it has to have been made by someone whom the band members really, truly trusted and felt totally comfortable around.

Not surprisingly then, Sacha Gervasi, the director of the documentary, was once a roadie for the band. And for this riveting documentary he went out on the road again with Anvil, a band who looked all set to make it big in the 80's metal world but somehow never did. He's made a film that will remind you of Spinal Tap except that it is real, and more importantly, reverential. Last week I caught up with the film's director to ask him about this refreshingly unique music documentary. 
.
Amoeblog: I love your film, including how it flows so naturally and seems to have taken on a life or direction of its own. Did the film turn out differently than maybe what you had initially expected?

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"...And the hangover goes to...!"

Posted by Job O Brother, September 28, 2009 12:59pm | Post a Comment
boobs

Hello, Earthlings! I have returned after being ill for the past week. I’m still not at 100%, but can at least sit at my computer without succumbing to vertigo and mistaking my iTunes for an episode of Battlestar Gallactica.

It’s all the fault of the 2009 Emmy Awards. Yes it is! I’ll explain…

emmy

The boyfriend and I were (again) invited to attend the HBO Emmy Award after-party. As he considered which of his designer suits to don, I sifted through the post-punk, vintage mess that is my wardrobe, desperately trying to Frankenstein something passable to wear, grateful that most people at industry parties are too self-absorbed to notice me at all.

Once we got there we took our place in line in the underground garage that served as a holding tank for men and women dressed to the nines. (Front entrance was limited to red-carpet types.) Cramped into lines of two and everyone decked-out fancy, it looked as though we were about to be slaughtered in the most glamorous concentration camp ever.

We made it in.

hbo

Now, there’s a reason why I love going to the HBO after-party. Normally, I would eschew going to industry parties in favor of getting my fingernails torn out or having bedtimes stories read to me by Carol Channing. The HBO party is an exception to this rule because it is kind of awesome.

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