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Amoeba's Greatest Record Store Day Moments

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, February 24, 2017 04:58pm | Post a Comment

Record Store Day 2017

It’s hard to believe, but it was just ten years ago that Record Store Day was conceived in 2007 at a gathering of indie record store owners and employees as a way to celebrate and promulgate the unique culture of record stores. The first Record Store Day was held nation-wide on April 19, 2008, and all three Amoeba Music locations were joyously mobbed for special limited edition releases and all-day festive events.

With RSD 2017 on its way (April 22!), we look back at the nine we’ve celebrated at our stores and pick our favorite moments. We hope they were your favorite too.

April 19, 2008, Amoeba SF – The inaugural Record Store Day was certainly one to remember at Amoeba SF as we invited several local luminaries to DJ on the Amoeba stage throughout the day, including V. Vale of RE/Search Publications, Aaron Axelson of LIVE 105, and more. Then we asked Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys, Alternative Tentacles) to work at our Info Counter where he signed many an autograph!

V. Vale and Jello Biafra

April 18, 2009, Amoeba HollywoodWendy & Lisa of Prince's '80's lineup of The Revolution played a DJ set in support of their new album, White Flags of Winter Chimneys, while also simultaneously schmoozing with fans and babysitting several children. In a last-minute development, the legendary KISS guitarist Ace Frehley decided to swing by and hang out, so we set up a signing table!

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February Events at Amoeba SF & Berkeley

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, February 1, 2017 01:48pm | Post a Comment

Now that you've experienced the New Year's high, the mid-January panic, and the late-January slump, it's time to get back to reality and gain equilibrium. February is that special month when things even out and go back to normal...usually. Well, we can't promise a complete return to sanity for everyone, but we can promise a month full of fabulous February sales and in-store happenings to keep you inspired.
 

Amoeba SF, Amoeba Berkeley, February

What the Heck to Do With Yourself on Inauguration Day In The Bay

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 17, 2017 12:11pm | Post a Comment

Inauguration Day

As you are undoubtedly aware, this Friday, January 20th, is Inauguration Day (or T Day, or The Day Freedom Died...take your pick). If you are located in the Bay Area, chances are, statistically speaking, that you have a lot of anxiety about the incoming demagogue. With more than two dozen Democratic representative boycotting the inauguration and with UC Berkeley's Robert Reich (AKA Facebook's favorite economist) calling for a civilian boycott to create poor ratings (Trump's worst nightmare), it can be tempting to hide your head in a bucket of your favorite budget beverage that day (as a lot of people have told me they plan to do) and feel like you're making a difference.

Robert Reich

However, as someone who walks around with a steaming pile of anxiety and nameless dread on their shoulders daily, I can honestly say that DOING SOMETHING can often be a beneficial way of working through one's angst and is always more preferable to ruminating alone in a dark room about building a fall-out shelter, while half-watching endless episodes of Man In The High Castle. Added bonus: DOING SOMETHING is a visible, effective, and positive method of rebellion. And it's infectious (in a good way, unlike apathy or measles/mumps/rubella). AND no one will really notice that you are not at the inauguration anyhow. So, Bay Area...Yeay Area? Can I call you that? Please consider this list of events, protests, and actions as my gift to you this Inauguration Friday and weekend. Get out of the house, forge new bonds with like-minded people, march in solidarity of Truth and Freedom, and don't forget your Inauguration Aggravation umbrella! This $hit is going down rain or shine.

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Remembering Experimental Music Artist and Amoeba Music Family Member: Jim Kaiser

Posted by Billyjam, January 11, 2017 11:55pm | Post a Comment

Recently a dark cloud has been hanging over Amoeba Music Berkeley since the sad news of the passing of longtime Amoeba family member Jim Kaiser who died last week at age 46. Experimental music fanatic, talented  and ever creative experimental music artist, and universally beloved guy Jim, who moved west to the Bay two decades ago, had worked at Amoeba Berkeley since 1997. In the years since he made quite an impression on those he met. "He was an incredibly special human being. [That's] why so so so many of us are in mourning," said Gregory Scharpen who performed with Jim in Thomas Carnacki, one of a few local experimental ensembles Jim had been a member of. Among those who worked alongside him at the Telegraph Ave. record store was Amoeba Music co-owner Marc Weinstein who today recalled how, "Jim was at once an uncompromising artist and a sweetheart of the highest order; everybody loved him. As a buyer at the front counter for over 15 years, he got to know a huge percentage of our customers. And as our experimental music buyer and expert, he was an unparalleled resource for people interested in unusual sounds. We will all miss him greatly."

Former Amoeba Berkeley employee Sam Lefebvre wrote an insightful and touching tribute to Jim in the current East Bay Express. Under the heading Jim Kaiser: Eccentric Champion Of Incredibly Strange Music Dies At 46 the article, which you can read here, noted how Jim's various experimental instruments included playing a bicycle wheel ("lithely bowed contact-mic'd bicycle spokes to absorbing effect") and how he had released limited edition solo recordings such as Blood Has Taste and Swept Through & Nullified on mini CD format via the Oakland Petit Mal label. In the comments of that EBX piece Steve Cain, an old friend of the artist's from his Kansas City days, wrote how: "He was the guy at the record store that could get me anything I wanted. Always a kind soul, almost always had a smile, even when things were rough. …He was a unique soul, one the world will miss." Below and above are a series of photos of Jim, courtesy of Amoeba's Lori Katz, taken in the store and at a bunch of different Amoeba events over the years with various co-workers and friends. Rest in peace Jim Kaiser.
 

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November Events at Amoeba SF & Berkeley

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 1, 2016 05:53pm | Post a Comment

Welcome to November, land of pumpkin spice-flavored everything, autumnal falling leaves, Thanksgiving dinner, elections, and, of course, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You won't want to miss a single event at Amoeba SF and Berkeley this month, including fantastic in-store shows, a BOGO red tag sale, a Black Friday full of deals that can't be beat, and special Small Business Saturday promotions too. Make sure you check out Amoeba.com on November 28th for those Cyber Monday deals. 

Amoeba San Francisco, Amoeba Berkeley, November

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