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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Chelsea Wolfe

Posted by Amoebite, November 27, 2013 12:58pm | Post a Comment
Chelsea Wolfe

Chelsea Wolfe has been churning out her own brand of Goth Folk music for quite some time now. With her fourth studio album, Pain Is Beauty, Wolfe utilizes many different elements including Rock, Experimental, Folk, Goth, Metal and a little Synth pop to create a well rounded album. Her vocal talent is on display as she easily moves from breathy melancholic lines to angelic harmonies. Violins and guitars are nicely stacked to create plush layers of  sonic beauty.  The overall album is tightly produced but still manages to have an organic aesthetic. She has something for everyone on here!

Chelsea Wolfe took some time out of her busy schedule to shoot another cool episode of  What's In My Bag? She has some really nice picks, such as Black Sabbath Vol. 4 and a couple Townes Van Zandt LPs including Live At The Old Quarter. A big fan of Hank Williams, Chelsea snags 20 Of Hank Williams' Greatest Hits on vinyl. Chelsea also digs through our World, Classical and Soundtrack sections. See what else she likes!

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The Bands That Ruin Your Lives

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, October 21, 2013 12:10am | Post a Comment
I finally got my 18-year niece who is living with me to clean up her room.

As she is doing it, she is listening to music through Spotify, which most people her age do rather than download or buy physical product. She is playing The Stooges “I Wanna Be Your Dog” I can hear it through her door from the adjacent kitchen as I wash dishes. She repeats the song. When it was over, she repeats it again, then again. I finally knock on her door and say, “You know, there are plenty of great Stooges songs besides that one!” She opens the door, looks at me slightly embarrassed but then defends herself. “I’m listening to the Iggy Pop anthology and this is the only song I like. The rest of it is too poppy, like The Ramones”

I slightly gasp. Not that she couldn’t be any more wrong about The Stooges but she based her opinion from Iggy Pop's Anthology? It’s like basing a writer's’ entire work on  CliffsNotes. I told her to listen to the entire Funhouse album from beginning to end. I remember that album scaring me. It was so raw, so bluesy, so primal,  that I knew by listening to it that my life would never be the same. I was right. It was like a hex or voodoo, maleficio, a Fukú, something, was put on me once the first notes of that album played on a cassette player in my friend’s car. I remember listening to Iggy's guttural screams, Ron Asheton's complete mutilation of his guitar, the unrelenting trance that was the rhythm section and thinking, "Wow" Not to mention the free jazz sax on some songs, altogether it was a mind-blowing experience for my young head.

I also felt that way listening to Black Sabbath for the first time, at my friend Paulo's house back in the fifth grade. It’s almost like I could see the ghosts coming out of the speakers of his parent’s Curtis Mathes combo turntable, AM/FM console once he put the needle on the Paranoid  album. i felt cursed from that point on. Years later I had a band and on our first album we dedicated the album to Black Sabbath for “ruining our lives”  it was the bond that we had together. Back then you had a stigma if you loved Black Sabbath. You were a dirthead, lower class, a loser, a real zero, Now post-Meet The Osbournes? Not so much.

After those two bands ruined my life, it was a landslide of loving all the music that most people hated. That was my curse. Pick any music, any style and I always would gravitate to the ones that made most people cringe. Mississippi Delta Blues or Chicago Blues? Mississippi. Be-Bop or Free Jazz? Do you need to ask?  Even within other cursed souls, I differ. You want to talk about Black Flag fans being scared for life? Try telling Black Flag fan that hate anything past the Damaged album how much you like My War, Slip It In, Loose Nut or Who’s Got The 10 1/2?  Instant ostracization!

Hip-Hop is different. I seem to always love some form of it, from its inception to now. The curse is lenient on Hip-Hop i guess. But  Bleach over Nevermind, always. Couldn’t name a Pixies song to save my life but I could tell you about The Swans Filth album. I feel like I'm one of the few Mexican-Americans that dislike both Morrissey and Chente! If their rabid fan base could deport me to another universe for such blasphemy, they would. It.could just be that I just have bad taste but like most superstitious people, I'd like to blame it on the curse of listening  to The Stooges and Black Sabbath at an impressionable age.

I fear for my niece. She’s such a nice kid. A little naive but then again, who wasn’t at eighteen? From the kitchen I can hear the first few bars of “Down On The Street” I wonder in this day in age if it would have the same effect? A few seconds after Iggy’s first growl, she stops the song. Then I hear the familiar guitar riff, "dah dah dahdahdahdah dah", followed by the one note piano line. Yes, it’s “I Wanna Be Your Dog” again.

I'm a bit downhearted that she chose not to take that journey. She absolutely my sister's child, a little bit on the wild side but always pop. Secretly though,  I’m happy she wasn’t cursed.



Sunday Plays: an Autumn Equinox mix

Posted by Kells, September 22, 2013 05:08pm | Post a Comment


Sundays are conducive to relaxed habitual activities like alfresco brunches, bible study and bingo.
However, I choose to spend most of my brunch money on records and my Sunday School days are behind me. Plus, I'm pretty certain I'm immune to the bingo bug thus I spend my Sundays catching up on the records I've acquired during the week or otherwise play curator to my personal wax museum. I usually get the coffee or tea brewing and then select four albums at a time, because that usually adds up to two and a half hours, and play them in the order seems to best fit the feel of the day's mood. Then you brunch or check your email or write your blog or roll around on the floor or whatever -- that's your business.

Anyway, the enjoyment that comes of listening to records on a lazy Sunday morning/afternoon is, for me, the very definition of creature comfort. This Sunday being the Autumnal Equinox I'm reluctantly ringing in fall with these selections:

Staying Alive - The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

This year my dumb ass didn't really get around to reveling in the splendor of Summer until it was almost over. Somehow, like magic, listening to this soundtrack is making it all okay. On the one hand I am so completely bummed to see Summer go, but I've also always been such a ho for Autumn, this film and the music that completes it. For me, right now, it's the remedy to all my Summer woes. Especially the breakdown part of "(We Dace) So Close to the Fire" where it claws it's way into a sexy, fragmented downtempo beat set against a corny gasping vocal, repeating "dance... fire... BURN!" signaling Finola Hughes' slinking she-devil entrance in the dance piece within the film, Satan's Alley (see the vid below). Who knew Sylvester Stallone's brother Frank was so musically gifted? I mean, "Moody Girl" is a criminally overlooked smooth soul jammer in my opinion. 

Listening to this first thing was the best idea I've had all day.





Next up I went with the kinder, gentler submission to the turning of the seasonal wheel...

Dead Can Dance - Aion

I'll never forget the first time I heard Dead Can Dance, their sound totally changed the way I thought about mood music. It was around the same time that I was reading Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles which really worked for me. This album is the only one of theirs that I own in my wax museum and listening to it only makes me want to add to the family. Of all their records, however, I feel like I can get behind this one the most for a Summer-to-Fall transition piece. The second track on side A, "Saltarello," is an exemplary modern medieval romp that brings to mind blurred visions of courtesans, dressed as men, cutting it up at a harvest masquerade -- just like Wikipedia said.

Dead Can Dance - "Saltarello"


and now for something completely different...

Bell, Book and Candle - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

I got this the other day on a whim, just because. I'm always on the prowl for crazy, kooky, sexy, cool sounds for the lounge.
Well, there's nothing for it now: I need to see this movie. I'm more than a little miffed that I haven't seen it before now because this soundtrack just plain rules. There is plenty of kitschy bongo beats and and lush jazzy tones that adds as much mystery to my interpretation of what this film is all about based solely on the soundtrack as it, in theory, enhances the witchy woman vibes I assume the makers of this movie aimed to achieve. Aside from the vague insertion of the melody from "Jingle Bells" in the opening suite (I feel like it's been popping up now and again as I make my way through the record, back to front) I 'm beginning to think this might make a more appropriate yet sinister transition listen from Hallowe'en to Christmas, nevermind Thanksgiving.

Here's a little visual!




Last, but most effing definitely not least:


Also known as Snowblind or Children of the Grave, Black Sabbath Vol. 4 always kind of seemed like such a dopey title (no pun intended) for a mammoth album so great that signified a turning point not only in my life but also, as I've come to understand, for the band as well. As much as the music of Ozzy-era Black Sabbath will forever be linked to the dark arts and Hallowe'en, the lead-off track "Wheels of Confusion" seems to me like a regurgitation of my own personal "innocence lost" after school special, which is probably why it feels so deliciously gloomy yet embarrassing and infinitely revisitable. Not my favorite Sabbath track (that honor goes to "A National Acrobat"), but I love Wheels so much it might just be my ultimate, Side One, Track One.

Black Sabbath - "Wheels of Confusion/The Straightener"

Shopping for Black Flag, Black Sheep, and Black Sabbath on Black Friday

Posted by Billyjam, November 23, 2012 07:35am | Post a Comment
1) Black Flag       

2) Black Sheep

3) Black Sabbath

4) Black 47

5) Black Grape

6) Black Bug

7) Black Madonna


Inspired by the wonderful Black Friday appropriation of Black Flag's famous logo (above left) I started thinking that, in addition to all of the great exclusive releases issued for this Black Friday Record Store Day that you will find today and over this Black Friday weekend at Amoeba (through Sunday Nov 25), while in one of the three Amoeba stores look out for some of the numerous other bands/artists whose names begin with the word Black because there are a lot of talented artists in that category that span different genres. Along with the punk legends Black Flag (whose T-shirts as well as music you will find in the new Amoeba Hollywood Punk Section) these include hard rock pioneers Black Sabbath * (check for such other Sabbath items as their Sabbath Bloody Sabbath poster), and golden era hip-hop trailblazers Black Sheep. - especially their albums Non Fiction and Wolf In Sheep's Clothing.  Then there's the Irish tinged rockers Black 47 whose Home of the Brave is not half bad, 90's UK rock group Black Grape featuring former members of Happy Mondays, Black Bug who released the 7" "Shard of Glass" / "Police Helicopter" on Hozac Records last year, and Black Madonna who released the 12" "Alright This Morning" a month ago. And of course at Amoeba you could also pick up Steely Dan's album Katy Lied with the opening track "Black Friday."

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100 Famous Rock Guitar Riffs Offers Concise History of Rock N' Roll

Posted by Billyjam, July 17, 2012 10:00am | Post a Comment
      

Rock music has way too many incredibly memorable guitar riffs to limit a best of list to just one hundred, but the 100 riffs that guitarist Alex Chadwick of The Chicago Music Exchange came up with for the above video performance ain't half bad, and it is a nice informal overview of the history of rock n' roll. Sure it's a subjective selection that includes a lot of mega hits of the genre, and no doubt every rock fan could come up with their own unique list of a hundred best guitar riffs. But I like what Alex has done: from his playing to his choices of riffs, and from how he segues from song to song, to how he plays it on his 1958 Fender Strat all in chronological order. Below is that list of songs and artists in order with the artist names that are blue highlighted linking back to the Amoeba Online Store. where you can find their respective music (CDs, LPs, DVDs) including (in near all cases) the song played by Alex.

SONG/ARTIST PLAYLIST & AMOEBA SHOP LINK OF ALEX'S 100 GUITAR RIFFS (IN ORDER):


1 "Mr. Sandman"  Chet Atkins
2 "Folsom Prison Blues" Johnny Cash
3 "Words of Love"  Buddy Holly
4 "Johnny B Goode"  Chuck Berry
5 "Rumble"  Link Wray

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