"Unleashed" With Director Finn Taylor at Roxie Theater, August 26 & 27

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 24, 2017 01:47pm | Post a Comment

UnleashedWe here at Amoeba Music know that we have some versatile and attractive bags, but imagine our surprise when we discovered that our bags were being put to entirely hitherto unforeseen use in the new film Unleashed by Bay Area director Finn Taylor (Dream with the Fishes).

In this new interspecies comedy, Emma (played by Kate Micucci of Garfunkel and Oates) moves to San Francisco after a massive betrayal by her boyfriend (Josh Brener, AKA "Big Head" of Silicon Valley) with only her beloved pets Ajax (Justin Chatwin), a golden-eyed cat, and Summit (Steve Howey), an energetic mutt, in tow. One night, drawn by the light of a Supermoon, Emma’s pets escape into the night and are transformed into full-grown men.

And that's where the Amoeba bag comes to be important:


For a film that appears to (literally) be a shaggy-dog story, Unleashed is full of wit, spirit and a wonderful sense of insight into what it means to be human. And feline. And canine.

Check out screenings of Unleashed at Roxie Theater August 25-31, with special screenings featuring Q&A with Finn Taylor on Saturday, August 26th at 7pm and Sunday, August 27th at 6:30pm. (More info HERE.) Those in attendance at the special screening on Saturday, August 26th at 7pm will receive an Amoeba Music bag of their own filled with fun shwag and great savings.

Sapphic Musk Releases New "Kittenz" Single + Music Video

Posted by Amoebite, July 16, 2015 12:13pm | Post a Comment

Ever wondered what a crowd surfing feline looks like? Thanks to the newly released Sapphic Musk "Kittenz" music video you can see it happen!

The self proclaimed "homo-centric Euro-Nordic hard rock" band Sapphic Musk created something that is sure to set the blogosphere ablaze. "Kittenz," the latest single in the band's arsenal, is now available digitally via "Kittenz," produced by Bob Marlette (Rob Zombie, Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper), boasts heavy guitar riffs over big tight drums. It's the stuff that turns mosh pits into raging tornadoes! Tastefully produced and perfectly executed, the single definitely stands on its own. Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, the ladies of Sapphic Musk drop a gem of a video to accompany their feline fantasy. 

Shot at the famed DIY punk venue The Smell, the video opens with the meow of a cute and cuddly kitten just before Sapphic Musk unleashes a sonic assault of rock goodness. Complete with on screen explosions and cut-aways of little kittens, the video has subtle nods to cheesy old school editing that makes for a super entertaining watch. But don't let the cute kittens fool you. Vocalist Sara T. Russell, dressed in a horned headpiece sings, "claws like demon knives, they don't die they've got nine lives..."  A simple reminder that even the cutest of kittens can be the most demonic. Guitarist Mia Ferraro and bassist Christy Greenwood lay down some serious headbanging while drummer Tammy Germani channels her inner Black Sabbath a la Bill Ward as Sapphic Musk rocks out to a packed house of die hard fans. The end result is an awesome song with a tongue-in-cheek video that is well worth the watch... over and over again.   

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Best Friends Animal Society Holds Pet Adoption Event Over July 4 Weekend

Posted by Amoebite, June 26, 2015 02:24pm | Post a Comment

best friends animal adoption

Best Friends Animal Society is putting on the #Freedom100 Adoption Marathon over the July 4 holiday weekend, with the aim of finding homes for 100-plus cats and dogs.

From July 3-5, Best Friends and NKLA will hold the event in two locations. Pet adoptions will be given for $10 for the first 100 pets adopted at Best Friends’ Mission Hills location, and NKLA’s West L.A. location will have $10 for kittens and cats and $25 for select dogs for 100 pets.

In addition, every pet comes spayed or neutered, microchipped and vaccinated. Adopters will receive a free bag of food and one month of free pet insurance, and there’s an on-site boutique to pick up the essentials for your new pet.

Best Friends Animal Society is an animal welfare organization dedicated to ending the killing of healthy, adoptable pets. NKLA (No Kill Los Angeles) is a coalition of such organizations as well as city shelters and individuals, which is led by Best Friends for the same cause. You can see their adoptable cats here and dogs here.

Best Friends Pet Adoption Center is located at 15321 Brand Boulevard in Mission Hills; their phone number is 818-643-3989. NKLA Pet Adoption Center is at 1845 Pontius Avenue in Los Angeles; their number is 424-208-8840.

9 songs about cats

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 30, 2014 03:52pm | Post a Comment
Although LOLCat Bible literalists believe differently, people of science generally hold the view that 
cats first domesticated humans at least since 7500 BCE, when the inhabitants of a neolithic village on Cyprus gave a feline (not native to the island) a ceremonial burial. What we know call the domestic cat was more truly feral when it split off from the African wildcat (Felis silvestris lybica), much earlier, some 10,000 years ago. They likely enjoyed a symbiotic relationship with humans -- proving their usefulness to the Natufians of the Levant by preying on mice whilst ignoring (since they are obligate carnivores) the Natufians' mouse-attracting stores of grain. 

African wildcats in the wild (image source: Seasons in Africa)

Eventually cats moved were promoted from rodent catcher to household members and even divine beings. In Egypt cats were sacred and associated with the goddesses Isis, Mafdet (also spelled Maftet), and Bastet (also known as Baast, Ubaste, and Baset). The Greek historian Herodotus wrote that when a cat died, Egyptians would go into mourning, shaving their eyebrows to mark the loss of a family member. Cats were famously mummified and afforded dignified (by human standards) burials in Egypt. In 1888 a farmer discovered a tomb outside Beni Hasan which contained the mummies of about 80,000 cats (and some other animals). 
Neolithic grave with a human and a cat (left) and mummified Egyptian cats (right)

The reverence afforded to cats in ancient North Africa probably strikes most humans today as excessive and strange. However even the most insensitive amongst us usually react with repulsion, horror, and indignation when they learn that in places like Guangdong, Guangxi, Japan, Korea, Melmac, Mparntwe, Okinawa, Peru, Switzerlandcats have traditionally been eaten or used in medicine. It seems a bit rich to me when coming from people who think nothing of eating a fish, bird, cow, or pig.  

Room 8 

In placs where felines are off the menu they have inspired artists like the 9th Century Irish monk who wrote, "Pangur Bán," Gioachino Rossini, T.S. EliotSakiHiroyuki Morita. Although there were famous cats before the advent of the internet (e.g. Room 8 of Elysian Heights), it might appear to aliens observing our planet that it was invented to honor them -- the modern incarnation of feline worship passed down from ancient Egypt. Our modern pantheon includes Ceiling Cat, Happy Cat, Grumpy Cat, Hipster Kitty, Keyboard Cat, Lil Bub, Maru, Missy the CatNekopanNyan Cat, and Snoopybabe, to name but a few.

When I was a kid we had a couple of cats (Felicity and Lazuli)
 as well as numerous pet bantams, dogs, ferretsKhaki Campbellsmallards, parakeets, rabbits, and many varieties of fish. However, since I was sixteen I haven't had any proper pets until Alan Gudguy came to Pendersleigh. Alan is, I'm fairly certain, a Norwegian Forest Cat (or at least significantly part skogkatt). He's an early riser, has a large vocabulary of sounds, hates my cooking (his squints and mimed burials make Gordon Ramsay's culinary criticisms seem quite understated by comparison), and likes watching nature documentaries. For some reason he smells like labdanum, the resin obtained from several species of Mediterranean rockroses and used to make perfume. 

He's been exposed to quite a variety of music and from what I can tell, he's indifferent to it all with the exception of some experimental music and the guitar stylings of Speedy West -- both of which drive him insane. Trying to find something more to his liking I played for him the Jingle Cats singing "What Child is This?" and Takako Minekawa's song "Cat House," both of which were met with possibly exaggerated disinterest. 

This got me thinking about the best cat songs and I correctly assumed that many listicles would already clutter the internet although all that I've seen are better suited for the litter box. Too many (all that I've seen, really), are the apparent result of a quick Google search, fifteen minutes of work, and zero amount of thought or discretion. Obviously not EVERY song with the word "cat" in the title is worthy of either being thought of as a song about cats (e.g. "Cat's in the Cradle") and as far as I know, of Cat Butt, Cat Stevens, Los Gatos, Kitty WellsPussy Cat, Sally & the Alley Catsand Stray Cats, only the latter actually made songs about cats. 

Alan has since pushed this mug to its destruction :/

Furthermore, not all cat-inspired art is equal, the 1970s gave us two awful pop culture cats -- Heathcliff and later Garfield (although Garfield Minus Garfield brings tears to my eyes) and Paula Abdul's interspecies love affair with the coprophiliac MC Skat Kat celebrated in the song and video for "Opposites Attract" is surely more objectionable than the consumption of cat meat. Hopefully it's apparent that I've put a bit more work in this list of nine great songs about cats!

Alan the Dingus Gudguy in the SHU

Pink Floyd "Lucifer Sam" from the album, Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1968) 

Pink Floyd's debut, the only album with the visionary Syd Barrett, is that band's masterpiece. Although the song's slightly sinister surf rock guitar (a sound by then associated with super spies like James Bond) has helped make the song a staple at 60s revival clubs, the only album track released as a single was the lysergically transcendental "Flaming" (see also "Sing a song of eiderdowns"). "Lucifer Sam" was supposedly about Barrett's Siamese cat although it's not clear to me whether that was it's name since it was originally titled "Percy the Rat Catcher."

The Kinks - "Phenomenal Cat" from the album, The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society (1968) 

There's the obvious double meaning of the so-called fat cat in The Kink's "Phenomenal Cat." However, Davies's sped-up vocals seem to represent those of a fictional, anthropomorphized feline. It's a short, slight song with appropriate whimsy and a nice late Small Faces vibe. 

Tyrannosaurus Rex - "Cat Black (The Wizard's Hat)" from the album, Unicorn (1969)

Deciphering the meaning behind any Marc Bolan composition is probably a fool's errand. Although he ostensibly sang in English, his lyrics almost always seemed to be glossolaliac. As Lawrence said of Bolan in Will Hodgkinson's book, Song Man: A Melodic Adventure, Or, My Single-minded Approach to Songwriting, "It's brilliant, but it can't have any meaning whatsoever. So words without meaning can be fantastic, but you have to have a creative and poetic mind to get away with it. When a band like Oasis do it, it's just plain bad." Morrissey wrote of Tyrannosaurus Rex in his autobiography that Bolan seemed to be singing "in Olde English -- incomprehensible to the modern ear." In other words, it could almost be aout anything or nothing but I'm including it in the list if simply because I like it so much. 

Al Stewart"Year of the Cat" from Year of the Cat (1976)

"Year of the Cat" might only indirectly be about an actual cat but again, it's so good that it has to be included. Scottish singer Al Stewart's lyrics actually concern a fling in an "exotic" country with a woman in a silk dress and waking up to find some of his possessions missing. A hint about the events' location can possibly be derived from the fact that, in the Vietnamese calendar, 11 February, 1975 to 30 January, 1976 (when the song was written) was the year of the cat. However, after its use in Hello Ladies, I still can't hear it and not imagine Stephen Merchant

The Cure"The Lovecats," a non-album single from 1983, later included on Japanese Whispers.

The Cure earlier sang of cats on 1981's somber dirge, "All Cats are Grey," its title an apparent reference to John Heywood's book of proverbs (1546) which includes the adage, 'When all candles be out, all cats be gray." Much more feline in its sound (complete with meowing guitars) is 1983's appropriately jazzy (because there's something undeniably jazzy about cats) "Lovecats."

Look Blue Go Purple - "Cactus Cat" from the EP, LBGPEP2 (1986) 

According to William T. Cox's 1910 work, Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods, the cactus cat is a nocturnal, spine-covered bobcat-like creature which feeds off the juice of cacti and lives in the deserts of the American southwest. Spending too much time in the desert does strange things. This legend apparently made its way to New Zealand, where Look Blue Go Purple penned this excellent ode to the cryptozoological creature.

The Vaselines - "Monster Pussy" from the album, Dum-Dum (1989) 

If the Vaselines are too believed, "Rory Rides Me Raw" is about an old bike that belonged to Frances McKee which had a "rough saddle" and was named Rory. Placing all faith in artists to accurately interpret and honestly explain the subtext and meaning of their work, we must then accept that "Monster Pussy" is about a cat that also belonged to Frances. 

Takako Minekawa - "Fantastic Cat" from the album, Roomic Cube (1996)

The first song I heard by Takako Minekawa might have been "Cat House" but I reckon that as far as her cat-related compositions go, "Fantastic Cat" has it beat, if only by a whisker. Roomic Cube was released in 1996, when the shibuya-kei scene was moving towards pico pop and it was the cavalier and carefree riposte to puffed up post-Grunge, New Lad, and Gangsta posturing. 

Girlfrendo - "Cat Heaven" 
from the album, Surprise! Surprise! It's Girlfrendo (1998) 

Gothenburg, Sweden
's Girlfrendo chose "Cat Heaven" as the only single off of their debut album. The cover of the single seems to depict a kitten on its back, mid-swipe. Even the lyrics reinforce the false dichotomy of cats and dogs and Alan likes to groom his canine cousins, he doesn't seem to mind... and since I'm now writing this from a standing position because he's pushed me off the chair in front of my desk and is taking a nap, I'll wrap it up now.

Honorable Mention:
Bent Fabric - “Alley Cat,"
 Johnny Cash - "Mean-Eyed Cat," Petula Clark - "Cat in the Window (The Bird in the Sky)," Stray Cats - "Stray Cat Strut," Deee-Lite“Pussycat Meow, and Primus “Tommy the Cat” 


Follow Alan on Tumblr at What a Dingus!

Meet the Dogs and Cats of Amoeba

Posted by Billy Gil, October 10, 2013 06:10pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba is more than just pet-friendly. We're kind of nuts about animals here. Not only can shoppers bring in their pets any time, our staff's pets have become part of the family, wandering the halls of Amoeba and distracting us from our work with ridiculous cuteness.

October is Adopt-a-Dog Month, and we've got a number of activities planned. Amoeba Hollywood's annual Dog Costume Contest is on Halloween, Thursday Oct. 31, with DJ Foliero at 3 p.m. and the contest at 5 p.m. As well, Amoeba is accepting donations, including food, blankets and cleaning supplies, for a $3 off coupon, and Amoeba is sponsoring The Great Escape, a two-day (Oct. 20-21) pet adoption event happening at Fonda Theatre (6110 Hollywood Blvd.), a benefit show featuring Best Coast, Baby Alpaca and other pet-loving bands.

Amoeba SF on Halloween will have a DJ set of spooky tunes with DJ Kells Bells from 3-5 p.m., with a dog costume contest at 4 p.m.—enter for the chance to win an Amoeba gift certificate!

Amoeba stores close at 7 p.m. on Halloween. Read more about these events/efforts here.

Meet our dogs and cats below!

Owner: Kyle Blair-Henderson, Video Director
Wilder is a 4-year-old rat terrier/ladykiller. He'll snack on anything that Kyle's one-and-a-half-year-old daughter throws on the floor. He is aggressively affectionate. His superpower is his overactive tongue. Beware the mighty tongue of Wilder or you'll find yourself in a canine french kiss. His tongue is also a defense mechanism for any time he feels cornered. There is no situation he can't lick his way out of.
Fun Fact: Wilder is named after the great Billy Wilder and not as many have suggested Gene Wilder or Van Wilder.

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