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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with José James

Posted by Amoebite, March 14, 2019 01:22pm | Post a Comment

Jose James - What's In My Bag? - Amoeba Music

Acclaimed neo-soul/jazz/hip-hop musician and composer José James did some shopping at Amoeba Hollywood recently and talked with us about some of his favorite artists for our latest What's In My Bag? episode. James went looking for a Tribe Called Quest t-shirt and ended up with an Eric Dolphy shirt instead, happily surprised to see the jazz saxophonist/clarinetist printed on a piece of apparel. "He's a really deep figure for me, and for jazz," he explained. "His album Out To Lunch, on Blue Note, to me is the highest standard of avant-garde music in America." James went on to discuss Dolphy's influence on John Coltrane, saying he "encouraged John to let the saxophone speak. He was really trying to get beyond the limitations of the instrument, and just make sounds." James had similarly thoughtful things to say about every item he picked, giving us an educational and entertaining peek into his shopping bag.

Born in Minneapolis, MN, José James attended The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. His oeuvre has been compared to D'Angelo, Frank Ocean, Miguel, Bobby McFerrin, and Leon Thomas. Jose James - Lean On Me - Amoeba MusicHe released his debut LP, The Dreamer, in 2008 via the Brownswood label. James followed his first LP with Blackmagic (Brownswood) and For All We Know (Verve), both released in 2010. The latter album took home the Edison Award and the L'Académie du Jazz Grand Prix for the year's Best Vocal Jazz Album.

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Sunken Continent Mental Vacation Needed

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 31, 2019 06:05pm | Post a Comment

By Kai Wada Roath
Ambassador of Confusion Hill and host of the Super Shangri-La Show

"Knowing her fate, Atlantis sent out ships to all corners of the Earth,
On board were the Twelve: The poet, the physician, the farmer, the scientist,
the magician and the other so-called Gods of our legends.
Though Gods they were...
And as the elders of our time choose to remain blind,
Let us rejoice and let us sing and dance and ring in the new...Hail Atlantis!"
~ Donovan, "Atlantis," 1968

Were you too thwacking the side of your head to get the salt water and crummy dialogue out of your brain after seeing the new DC AquaDude movie? Good grief, give me a 1966 Marvel Sub-Mariner cartoon on VHS any day over that overload of computer-graphic garbage...for nothing beats the fear of being trapped in the Quagmire of Doom!

Not to mention, the fear of being killed by a giant man-eating clam, much like the lyrics to "Leah," my favorite Roy Orbison song.



Like many, my first introductions to Atlantis as a kid were from watching In Search of with Leonard Warlords of AtlantisNimoy and Arthur C. Clarke giving his theory on the lost continent while twirling a rainbow parasol and strolling on a beach in Sri Lanka. It was not till I was in my mid-20's that I discovered such breathtakingly "beautiful" films as Beyond Atlantis (1973), The Giant of Metropolis (1961), Warlords of Atlantis (1978), and the George Pal classic Atlantis, the Lost Continent (1961) with the menacing Giant Death-Ray Crystal! Mind you, what takes my breath away may just give you bad breath...but it's worth it, much like chewing on Riley's delicious Jalapeno beef jerky.

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Litquake Presents Michael Nesmith of The Monkees & Word/Jazz with Broun Fellinis

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 4, 2018 08:55pm | Post a Comment

LitQuake 2018

Litquake, San Francisco's annual literary festival, celebrates its 19th year with ten days of events running Michael NesmithOctober 11-20 in venues all over the city. Amoeba Music is thrilled to co-present these two exciting events, both happening at Cafe Du Nord.


Monkee Memoir: Michael Nesmith with Beth Lisick
Thursday, October 18 • 7:00pm - 8:30pm • Cafe Du Nord

Michael Nesmith’s eclectic, electric life spans his star-making role on The Monkees, his invention of the music video, and his critical contributions to movies, comedy, and the world of virtual reality. His funny and thoughtful memoir Infinite Tuesday takes readers on a pilgrimage in search of a set of principles to live by, from a childhood in Dallas, where his single mother Bette invented Liquid Paper, to the set of The Monkees, the heart of swinging London, and an unexpected oasis of brilliance in the Santa Fe desert, where friendships with Douglas Adams and Los Alamos scientists pointed him toward the power of the infinite. A true American original. In conversation with writer and actor Beth Lisick. Book sales and signing to follow.

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Some Vikings for my Liking

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, June 11, 2018 07:20pm | Post a Comment

By Kai Wada Roath
Ambassador of Confusion Hill and host of the Super Shangri-La Show

The Vikings"Across the rainbow bridge of Asgard,
Where the booming heavens roar.
You'll behold in breathless wonder,
The God of Thunder, Mighty Thor!"
~ The Mighty Thor theme from the 1966 cartoon

When I was a kid of just 10 years old, I would ride my Huffy down to the docks with my crab net on my back and spend the day hauling up rock crabs to later throw in a boiling cauldron before having a feast with my nutcracker. This is not the case for Tony Curtis in The Vikings (1958) in which he is sentenced to death by being tied in a low pool to be eaten alive by crabs.

In my humble opinion, this movie is the best Viking movie to this day. I mean, it's a no-brainer, Kirk Douglas has one eye and seeks revenge, and Ernest Borgnine is his dad, drinking out of a horn ...and it's narrated by Orson Welles!

If you live near Bagdad by the Bay, you can see The Vikings on the big screen at the historic Balboa Theatre in San Francisco this coming Wednesday, June 13th at 7:30pm and also buy it on DVD or Blu-ray at Amoeba and keep it in your Odin's Treasure Vault at home.

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Sophisticated Voodoo Jazz of the 50's

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 15, 2018 01:25pm | Post a Comment

Mystery Skull

By Kai Wada Roath
Ambassador of Confusion Hill and host of the Super Shangri-La ShowRobert Drasnin, Voodoo

So, you just found a Mystic Skull board game with all the pieces at the swap-meet and you are having some friends coming over to play it before watching Val Lewton's 1943 classic, I Walked with a Zombie. You frustratingly find yourself digging through your vinyl vaults and cannot seem to find the right music to set the eerie atmosphere you desire. Let my red chicken foot charm point you the way to the records you seek...some for the music, others for their covers.

Robert Drasnin's 1959 album titled Voodoo, is truly superb. You can easily feel entranced from the music, luring your mind deep into a forbidden jungle while listening to "Chant of the Moon." If the stars are in alignment, you may be lucky enough to find this record on colored vinyl (I recently found a yellow one). Perhaps some of you may have even seen Robert Drasnin when he performed at the Tiki Oasis back in 2008.



Perez Prado's "Voodoo Suite" is the "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" of jungle jazz. From exotic drumming and primitive shouts and grunts to smooth jazz beats, this 23 minute piece makes you wish you were prowling on all fours like a tiger, hunting a scantly clad prey in the Jungle Rock Room at the Madonna Inn. Listen to it in its entirety, and if you stumble across this record in the wild do not hesitate in buying it. Pounce on it! In my humble opinion, this composition is a masterpiece.

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