Amoeblog

The Strange Magic of Jeff Lynne’s ELO

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 20, 2018 05:24pm | Post a Comment

ELO

By Brent James

Recently, I had the extreme pleasure of attending the opening night of Jeff Lynne’s ELO world tour. The massive Oracle Arena in Oakland, California could hardly contain the excitement of the sold-out crowd that had traveled from as far away as New Zealand just to witness the return of one of music’s most unique and mainstay institutions in the flesh.

On Thursday, August 2nd, 2018, they were not disappointed…

Opening with “Standing In The Rain”, the 14-piece powerhouse band pummeled the crowd with blast after blast. “Evil Woman” kicked off an operatic hard rock cavalcade, and by the time “Do Ya” was over the fans could take no more! “When I Was A Boy” slowed things down so folks could catch their breath or perhaps refresh libations.

“Living Thing” was the band’s showcase, redefining the word “orchestra.” Iain Hornal was one of many VIP’s this evening and shined through on “Handle With Care,” channeling Roy Orbison with an almost eerie precision. “Xanadu” brought the house down, and “Shine A Little Love” demonstrated the technologically visual prowess that ELO has been known for since the very beginning. A show within a show.

The third “act” kicked off with “Wild West Hero,” and galloped all the way through classic staples “Don’t Bring Me Down” and “Turn To Stone” before finally settling down. The encore, “Roll Over Beethoven” written by Chuck Berry but basically owned by Lynne and ELO, left the crowd on their feet and begging for more. Like an orgasmic, euphoric roller coaster ride, you want to ride it again and again.

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Songs for the Seasons

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 2, 2018 03:45pm | Post a Comment

Masque of the Four Seasons

By Brent James

Alice Cooper School's Out“And I'm lost, behind
The words I'll never find
And I'm left behind
As seasons roll on by”
- Chris Cornell

As we shift through the seasons of our own lives, we’re constantly reminded of the influence music has had not only on us and our ever-changing desires for rebirth and new experiences, but how it’s also shapes things we sometimes take for granted such as Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall.

“We had joy, we had fun
We had seasons in the sun.
But the hills that we climbed
Were just seasons out of time.”
- Terry Jacks

Whether you realize it or not, life has a soundtrack. Think about the music you listened to when you were younger, or in your “Spring” years. It may not be in your current rotation now, but it sure shaped you then, and is guaranteed to be bringing somebody SOMEWHERE to the brink of their realizations now. You pass on what you learn, and hope to gain knowledge of fresh conditions along the way.

“The nights draw in
There's a silky moon up in the sky, yeah
Children are fantasising
Grown-ups are standing by
What a super feeling
Am I dreaming?”
- Queen

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Amoeba SF & Berkeley's Top 10 Most Amazing In-store Performances of 2017!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 31, 2017 04:54pm | Post a Comment

By Brent James

Amoeba’s live shows and events are the icing on an already impressive cake, and anyone who’s ever been to one can attest to the energy, excitement, and pure feeling of community they bring! We here in SF have noticed listening parties have started to become popular, as well as good old-fashioned “meet and greets” and album signings. 2018 is already looking like a banner year for our in-stores. To hold you over, here’s a look back at the most thrilling shows of the past year!

10. Summer of Love Celebrations - Amoeba SF - June 10 & July 28, 2017
Has it only been 50 years?? Well, we had no shortage of celebrations this past Summer to answer that question and pay tribute to the most tumultuous and artistic eras ever! And it all happened RIGHT HERE. We had 30 ft. projection screens, flowers in our hair, great local food, and, most important, the MUSIC that fueled a VERY different San Francisco.

Amoeba SF Summer of Love

9. Matisyahu - Amoeba SF - Thursday, May 25 2017
The return of Matisyahu to the Amoeba SF stage saw a much more relaxed set this time around. In support of the amazing Undercurrent, we had a sweet little weeknight show that, if I recall, came with perfect San Francisco weather. It’s always a pleasure to host Matis.

Matisyahu

8. Chris Robinson Brotherhood - Amoeba Berkeley - August 4, 2017
One of the first acts to test the boards of the revamped Berkeley stage, CRB brought the house down with an acoustic set that could be felt all the way around the world. Guest guitarist Neal Casal was on hand to add to the magic!

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Where The Toys Are

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 11, 2017 07:39pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music Carries Toys

By Brent James

No doubt you’ve got that one piece of vinyl in your collection that’s “worth thousands,” or maybe now that vinyl is making its “resurgence,” it might be time to sell your aunt’s dusty old records she passed down to you last Summer?

Well, it turns out she might have a few more items in her attic you might be interested in. Now more than ever is the time to check, as all those old toys and collectibles you stashed away are turning out to be worth big bucks. Beatles bucks it would seem, with a Rocket-Firing Boba Fett action figure from the early days of the Kenner Star Wars line recently snatching upwards of $17,000 at auction! And there’s no stopping it; millions of dollars are spent each year in the selling/trading world of toys. Not just Barbies and action figures but actual toys. Conventions are held monthly just for the “hunters,” as they’re referred to in the Toy Community. The little kids of the '70s and '80s and even '90s have grown up, and they have money. Lots of it.

Much like a record, an old toy can transport you to another time and place, and the sky’s the limit once you’re there. For those of us that dabble in both, the similarities are numerous. When displayed properly, a healthy collection is nothing short of a work of art. Great pride is poured into the presentation and many hours are spent on being a completist.

But just as the digital age took its toll on brick and mortar record stores, the same has happened with mom and pop toy stores. Big box chains such as Target and WalMart cut out many traditional toy shops, while Amazon and eBay wiped out the rest. Even Toys R’ Us struggled and to this day bankruptcy is rumored to be in their future. Pair that with a sometimes cutthroat market and poor distribution, and you almost find yourself wishing you ONLY collected records!

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Ladies and Gentlemen...The Revolution.

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 19, 2017 07:34pm | Post a Comment

The Revolution

By Brent James

The Revolution recently had a two-night engagement at the historic Fillmore Auditorium in San The RevolutionFrancisco on July 11th and 12th, and we had the absolute pleasure of attending not one but both sold-out shows! Featuring the original lineup of Wendy Melvoin on guitar, Lisa Coleman and “Dr.” Matt Fink on keys, BrownMark on bass, and Bobby Z on drums, Prince’s former band tore through two hours of memories with precision and finesse.

“Wendy?”

“Yes, Lisa…”

“Computer Blue” kicks off the set with an ocean blue wash over the transfixed capacity crowd. The band stays true to the original but owned it and the other songs as well, with an updated yet familiar sound of a band that’s been playing together on and off for over 30 years. “America” came next, more relevant now than ever. We’re reminded that Prince saw our future in 1985.

By the time “Mountains” rolls into the set, you find yourself in awe of the fact that you’re watching the band that wrote and recorded these gems in person. Many people are here tonight to heal, some are here out of curiosity. One thing is for sure and widely understood: the Purple Family runs deep and all are welcome. Yes, we’re here to celebrate Prince and His legacy, but this band is holding their own and without a doubt making Him proud.

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