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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Empress Of

Posted by Amoebite, April 30, 2019 03:42pm | Post a Comment

Empress Of - What's In My Bag?

Electro-singer/songwriter Empress Of recently stopped by Amoeba Hollywood, shopping for records and films by artists that have inspired her. The first thing she showed us when we sat down to talk with her was the Kate Bush LP box set, Remastered In Vinyl I. "I really just wanted to find The Kick Inside, 'cause that's my gateway drug into Kate Bush," she told us, "but this is bomb." "I like how in control of her art she is," she told us when asked why she liked Kate Bush's work, "it's a singular vision; like videos, dancing, music. Everything is the world of Kate Bush."

Empress Of is the stage name of singer, songwriter, and producer Lorely Rodriguez. The name was inspired by the Empress card in the tarot deck. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Empress Of first began attracting attention in 2011, when she anonymously released a series of short YouTube demos called "Colorminutes." Her debut single, "Champagne," was released by No Recordings in 2012. Two years later, she released a bilingual four-song EP called Systems.

In 2015, Empress Of released her debut full-length, Me. Self-produced and recorded in Mexico, the album addresses what she felt to be the negative aspects of living in Brooklyn at the time. Me charted in the top ten on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and placed on the Dance/Electronic Albums chart. Her followup, Us, was released in fall 2018. She has worked with DJDS and Khalid on their Billboard-charting "Why Don't You Come On" and on the DJDS Lana Del Rey cover "Love." She collaborated with Khalid on his Suncity release. Empress Of's 2018 Spanish-language double single "Trust Me Baby / In Dreams" premiered on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 radio show.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Mitski

Posted by Amoebite, March 19, 2019 05:10pm | Post a Comment

Mitski - What's In My Bag?

Indie rock singer/songwriter Mitski did a little shopping at Amoeba Hollywood recently and gave us a peek into her musical and cinematic tastes for our latest What's In My Bag? episode. Fresh off a long tour, Mitski was longing to see two movies by acclaimed anime director Hayao Miyazaki, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and The Wind Rises. "I just grew up with his films. Princess Mononoke was the first film I remember seeing and being affected by," she recalled. "I feel like they just give me the answers on how to live. They're so kind and hopeful."

Mitski Miyawaki is a Japanese-American singer-songwriter who performs as Mitski. As a child, she Mitski - What's In My Bag? lived in over a dozen countries, including Turkey, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Malaysia before settling in New York City. While studying at Purchase College's Conservatory of Music, Mitski recorded and self-released her first two albums, Lush (2012) and Retired from Sad, New Career in Business (2013). By her third album, 2014's Bury Me at Makeout Creek, Mitski had moved away from her earlier piano-based compositions towards a punkier guitar sound. 

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A Moving Tribute to Studio-Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata (RIP)

Posted by Kells, April 9, 2018 10:22pm | Post a Comment

Famed Animation juggernaut Studio Ghibli is best known for the work of two of its directors, Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. Both masters of the medium, the two legendary auteurs seem to challenge and inspire each other's creative output by employing contrasting aesthetic styles and work ethics, as much as their collective works consistently trounce the increasingly unimaginative box office bloaters made in, well, let's just say California. Their efforts are the stuff timeless, enduring classics are made of.

This past Thursday Isao Takahata, 82, died of lung cancer in a Tokyo hospital. When I learned of his passing I experienced a strange, instant cold sweat pang of a panicked feeling a sudden realization sometimes triggers. Nobody lives forever, and I didn't know the man personally, but I sensed a grave pressure drop-like feeling like I had lost a loved one. What could I possibly say about what his work meant to me in my life other than the simple truth: movies are the best, and Isao Takahata's films are so fully fantastic I always feel emotionally spent and high on enchantment after watching them. I could go on plodding away about how I appreciate Takahata's freewheeling yet meticulous approach to working, never compromising quality in no matter how large the deadlines loom, and how his love of realism is reflected not only in his work, but also in that of Miyazaki, his former apprentice, and how I agree his critically acclaimed 1988 World War II drama Grave of the Fireflies is one of the most gut-wrenchingly film experiences worth enduring, but that wouldn't be as fun to digest as what I have in mind—an actual moving tribute to Takahata's works (via gifs).

Here follows a selection of giffy bits and bobs from Takahata's filmography, with titles and links below each image to Amoeba's online emporium. As always, feel free to call us up and see what we've got on the shelf for ya if you don't see what you want in our virtual shop.


Grave of the Fireflies (1988)



The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) - Takahata's exquisite final film.


Pom Poko (1994) - Tanuki take over the world!


Only Yesterday (1991) - My very favorite of his films.


Panda! Go, Panda! (1972) - Considered by some to be a precursor of Miyazaki's Totoros.



My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999) - A stylized departure from traditional anime styles.


Another from Only Yesterday—not just because it's my favorite, but because ending with a sunset-lit countryside frolic seems fitting. Rest in peace Takahata-san, may your films live forever.