Amoeblog

Sonny Smith of Sonny & the Sunsets Chats

Posted by Miss Ess, November 11, 2009 01:57pm | Post a Comment
San Francisco's own Sonny & the Sunsets are releasing an album of confident, cool rock songs that have an easy, loose vibe to them called Tomorrow is Alright on Secret Seven/Soft Abuse Records! [Secret Seven is the same label that put out (with Empty Cellar) The Two Sides of Tim Cohen, and is soon to release The Sandwitches 12"...] It comes out November 17th as a vinyl only, limited release of 500 copies and will be available at Amoeba. The album features a wallop of guest appearances by San Francisco stalwarts Kelley Stoltz, Tim Cohen from The Fresh and Onlys, Tahlia Harbour of The Dry Spells and Heidi Alexander from The Sandwitches, among others. Sonny, whose musical endeavors have taken him through the years from piano bar gigs in Colorado to Marin's Headlands for an artist's retreat, chatted with me about his past, present and future.

tomorrow is alright sonny and the sunsets


MIss Ess: So you grew up here in San Francisco? How did you start playing music? Who helped you get going and what a
sonny and the sunsetsrtists influenced you as a kid?

Sonny Smith: I learned when I was a kid. I was given a guitar. Van Halen.

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November 11th, 1918, Armistice Day

Posted by Whitmore, November 11, 2009 11:00am | Post a Comment
The War to End All Wars. Though in 20 years time the Second World War would begin and the 78 million casualties would more than double the amount of World War One.
 
The total number of casualties in World War I, both military and civilian, was about 38 million: 16 million deaths and 22 million wounded (7 million were permanently disabled, and 15 million were seriously injured).
Of the 60 million European soldiers who were mobilized from 1914 – 1918, the official number of deaths was 9,721,937 with 21,228,813 wounded personnel; that is over half the military population. The Entente Powers (also known as the Allies -- United Kingdom, France, the Russian Empire, Belgium, Serbia, Canada, Australia, Italy, Japan, Greece, Romania and the United States) lost 5.7 million soldiers and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria) about 4 million. Civilian deaths officially totaled 6,821,248, though many estimates double that number.
 
Germany lost 15.1% of its active male population, Austria–Hungary lost 17.1%, and France lost 10.5%. About 750,000 German civilians died from starvation brought on by the British blockade during the war. In 1914 alone, the typhus epidemic killed 200,000 in Serbia and a few years later more than 3 million more would die in Russia. By 1918, famine had killed approximately 100,000 people in Lebanon. In addition, the biggest influenza pandemic of the century, the Spanish flu, spread around the world killing at least 50 million to as many as 100 million people. Though the war was not the cause of the flu, it certainly hastened the pandemic (the first cases were found at the army base, Fort Riley, Kansas). With massive troop movements, close quarters and poor sanitary conditions, some researchers speculate that the soldiers' immune systems were weakened by malnourishment as well as the stress of combat and attacks from chemical weapons, increasing their vulnerability to the flu, widening the spread of the disease.
 
Battles of Arras, Somme, Verdun, Soissons, Ypres, Liege, Lorraine, Belleau Wood, Antwerp, St. Quentin, Fromelles, Artois, Bazentin Ridge, Gallipoli, Ctesiphon, Dujaila, Asiago, Caporetto, Mount Ortigara, Piave, Vittorio Veneto, Galicia, Komarów, Kraśnik, Gumbinnen, Łódź, Przemyśl, Rawa, Tannenberg, Vistula River, Kajmakcalan, Kosovo, Bucharest, Cer, Kolubara, Mărăşeşti, Turtucaia, Neuve Chapelle, Cambrai, Saint-Mihiel, Passchendaele, Mont Sorrel, Messines, Marne, Le Cateau, Loos, Guillemont, Fromelles, Charleroi, Gaza, Romani, Hanna, Kut, Champagne, Broodseinde, Amiens, Aisne, Kisaki, Erzincan, Manzikert, Sardarapat, Sarikamish...
 
In many parts of the world people take a two-minute moment of silence at 11:00 a.m.

ALESSANDRA CELLETTI PRE USA CONCERT SERIES INTERVIEW

Posted by Billyjam, November 11, 2009 10:37am | Post a Comment


As you probably already know if you've stopped into one of the Amoeba Music stores recently or perhaps you discovered from reading elsewhere on this website, the Euro musical tour de force duo of Italian classical pianist Alessandra Celletti and Hans-Joachim Roedelius (of the electronic/experimental group Cluster) will be coming to America next month to do three select exclusive US performances in the cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. And as you probably also know by now, advance tickets for both the LA and SF shows are available exclusively at the three Amoeba Music locations, and are reasonably priced too, at just $20 a ticket (plus a $2 service fcellettiee). The Bay Area concert takes place December 3rd at San Francisco’s Theatre 39 -- Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf, and the SoCal concert is on December 5th at Zipper Hall in downtown Los Angeles (200 S. Grand Ave next to MOCA). The final concert takes place on Saturday, December 12th at Saint Peter's Church, at the corner of Lexington Avenue and 54th Street in NYC. Other Music is selling tix for that show.

Above is an Italian TV news report from earlier this year on the musical pair with an excerpt from a performance from last year's Primitivo Festival. And below is a clip of Celletti solo interpreting Philip Glass' Metamorphosis in concert last year. Also below is the video for the song "100 Dreams" from Way Out which again showcases Celletti's vocal talents. And immediately below that is the Amoeblog interview with Celletti in which she talks about her inspiration, her music being adapted for film soundtracks, her new hardcover book/DVD set that is being released in tandem with the U.S. concerts, and the colors that will be brought to life at next month's anticipated US concert dates.

Exene Cervenka Captivates Berkeley Crowd

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 10, 2009 02:34pm | Post a Comment
exene cervenka

Exene Cervenka
, the legendary singer of X, performed at Amoeba Berkeley this past Saturday in support of her new solo record Somewhere Gone (out now on Bloodshot Records)! While the instrumentation of her latest LP is closer to that of her other X side project, The Knitters, the melodies and darker lyrical content still shine through on the new folksy record. Somewhere Gone features the late Amy Farris on strings as well as Cindy Wasserman and David Carpenter, from the band Dead Rock West on backing vocals and bass, respectively. The album also features a cameo from Flat Duo Jets' Dexter Romwebber, though Wasserman and Carpenter were only transfers from the record to the live performance.

exene cervenka

Exene and her band played a 45 minute set of songs, mainly from the new album, though they did sprinkle in some unrecorded material throughout. Unlike solo sets from Frank Black or Paul McCartney, there were no rearranged X songs. Rather, the in-store focused on the material Exene had written over the past 4 years while living in rural Missouri.
exene cervenka somewhere gone
Also while in Missouri, Exene has focused on her visual art, which has been showcased recently in galleries in Southern California, where she now resides. The album cover for Somewhere Gone is one example of the collage style art that Exene produces.

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ONLY 8 YEARS OLD, THE iPOD HAS CHANGED HOW WE VIEW MUSIC

Posted by Billyjam, November 10, 2009 11:05am | Post a Comment
The Apple iPod turns the big 8 today. On the morning of November 10th, 2001, Apple first began selling its original version of the iPod MP3 music player. Pictured left, that original iPod sold for $399 + tax, and was marketed as an "Ultra-Portable MP3 Music Player" that "puts 1,000 Songs in Your Pocket."

Up to that point there had been many types/brands of MP3 players around (I knew a lot of folks who favored using their MiniDiscs as MP3 players) but no company had streamlined and made an MP3 player as user friendly as Apple did with the iPod. In 2001 it came with a 5GB hard drive, coupled with the first scrolling wheel and interface on an MP3 player.

Of course, in retrospect, compared to the variety of models of iPods and other MP3 players available to us today, this prototype iPod seems both bulky and pricey in contrast. Such is the way in this fast paced, ever-changing digital age. But what is most significant about the iPod is that in eight short years, it has not only changed the fortunes of the company that manufactures it (just as Apple's next big hit, the iPhone -- almost at 45 million in unit sales -- has similarly done), but it also has altered how the world listens to and consumes music.

Immediately before its commercial release back in late 2001, the iPod was being billed as the coming "Next Generation Player" and boy, that could not have been closer to the truth, since it literally signaled the generation of music consumers to come. The iPod was largely instrumental in changing everything to do with music; from listening to it, to buying or acquiring it, to selling, sharing, & storing music, etc, from that point on. In fact, in the music business that date, November 10th, 2001, could well be considered the watershed moment that divides two eras: BiP/AiP (Before iPod and After iPod).

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