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Desolation Center Documentary Screenings in Hollywood, SF & Berkeley

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 9, 2019 07:55pm | Post a Comment

Desolation Center is the previously untold story of a series of early '80s guerrilla music and art Desolation Centerperformance happenings in Southern California that are recognized to have paved the way for Burning Man, Lollapalooza, and Coachella, collective experiences that have become key elements of popular culture in the 21st century. The feature documentary splices interviews and rare performance footage of Sonic Youth, Minutemen, Meat Puppets, Swans, Redd Kross, Einstürzende Neubauten, Survival Research Laboratories, Savage Republic, and more, documenting a time when pushing the boundaries of music, art, and performance felt almost like an unspoken obligation.

Directed by Stuart Swezey, the creator and principal organizer of these unique events, Desolation Center demonstrates how the risky, and at times even reckless, actions of a few outsiders can unintentionally lead to seismic cultural shifts. Combining Swezey’s exclusive access to never-before-seen archival video, live audio recordings, and stills woven together with new cinematically shot interviews, verité footage and animated sequences, Desolation Center captures the spirit of the turbulent times from which these events emerged.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Tom Misch

Posted by Amoebite, March 27, 2018 12:10pm | Post a Comment

Tom Misch What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

British singer/songwriter, producer, and DJ Tom Misch went shopping at Amoeba Hollywood recently and shared some of his favorite albums with us in our latest What's In My Bag? episode. "This is the first record I heard of John Mayer," he said of the 2006 album Continuum, "and it completely changed my musical career." Misch goes on to describe how Mayer influenced his own guitar playing. "I started playing guitar -- well, trying to play guitar like him -- and that's where kind of everything changed for me." 

While still in school, Misch began making hip-hop beats inspired by J. Dilla. He started posting them online in 2012 where they were discovered and sampled by up-and-coming rappers. He collaborated Tom Misch Geography with singer/songwriter Carmody for her Out to Sea EP in 2014. Next he released Beat Tape 1 and Beat Tape 2; the former featured a track called "Dilla Love," which received a nod from the late producer's mother. The Reverie EP followed in 2016.

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New Green Room Session with Klangstof at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Amoebite, August 24, 2017 12:17pm | Post a Comment

Klangstof Green Room Session at Amoeba Hollywood

We were excited to welcome Dutch indie band Klangstof for an intimate Green Room Session at Amoeba Hollywood recently. The band released their debut album, Close Eyes To Exit, in October 2016 and went on to open for The Flaming Lips at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown LA and earn the distinction of being the first Dutch band to play in front of Coachella's massive crowds.

Klangstof Close Eyes To Exit Amoeba Music

During their session at Amoeba, the quartet executed their dynamic sound and showcased their talent for both atmospheric delicacy and heavy vamping. "Hostage" opens their set with a gentle, grooving intro propelled by a subtle electronic beat and synth. Soon, with a Chris Martin-esque ethereal "ooh," lead singer Koen van de Wardt signals a more definite groove with the band's full instrumentation. Up next, "Seasons," featuring some angular but slinky bass licks and funky interplay between the band members. The session closes with the tonal morphing "Amansworld." Fueled by a pensive energy, and a slightly disjointed rhythm, the song alternates between fragility and dissonance until finally building to a wailing climax of high-register guitar soling and sudden stops and starts.

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New "What's in My Bag?" Episode with Silversun Pickups

Posted by Amoebite, October 25, 2016 05:23pm | Post a Comment

Silversun Pickups at Amoeba Hollywood

"I've always wanted to own this record and I don't know why I don't," says Brian Aubert of Silversun Pickups as he's holding up Adore Life, the sophomore album by Savages. Brian goes on to recall seeing the UK post-punk group perform at Coachella and having their "faces completely melted off." Brian, along with the rest of Silversun Pickups - Nikki Monninger, Joe Lester, and Christopher Guanlao - went shopping at Amoeba Hollywood recently and found an eclectic mix of rock, hip hop, ska, electronic, and lots of soundtracks.

Named after a liquor store across the street from the Silverlake Lounge, LA-based indie four-piece Silversun Pickups formed in 2000. The band's fanbase grew thanks to the release of the Pikul EP (2005), their first for Dangerbird Records. Their debut full-length, Carnavas, appeared in stores a year later and a series of high-profile touring gigs with OK Go, Kaiser Chiefs, and Snow Patrol exposed them to new audiences in the U.S. and Europe.

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Ride rolls into the Warfield -- and their thirteen most massive tunes

Posted by Eric Brightwell, April 13, 2015 10:42am | Post a Comment
I'm currently down in San Francisco (well, Richmond actually) to see Ride play. Ride, for those keeping score, were the best of a crop of bands known way back in the early 1990s as shoegazers. Like most British bands that survived into those dark years of the mid-1990s, when a collective craze for slow motion guitar solos and untucked shirts overcome white Britannia, Ride too went horribly wrong (i.e. Britpop) in the end before calling it a day in 1996. They only released one bad album (and it was awful) but then Andy Bell formed Hurricane #1, a truly horrendous (way) sub-Seahorses audition for Oasis. Bell went on to play in Oasis and then that other Liam Gallagher band who can't have been all bad as they covered World of Twist's "Sons of the Stage." 





This is all a roundabout way of saying that the prospect of a Ride reunion made me, understandably I think, rather nervous. They released a clutch of fantastic EPs, three great albums, and only one steaming, stinker -- but it was their final album, and a direction Bell pursued with his following bands so would he insist that Tarantula haters like myself got it wrong and try to prove his point by subjecting audiences to "The Dawn Patrol" and "Starlight Motel" or worse, "Just Another Illusion"? All of my fears were put to rest when I listened to them play a short set on KCRW's "Morning Becomes Eclectic," which included five songs from their brilliant debut, Nowhere, and its equally classic follow-up, Going Blank Again. They sounded great. I meant to dust off my old Ride T-shirt with the mud stains and holes but perhaps wisely forgot (it's really holey).

Shoegazers were sometimes criticized for hiding their lack of songs behind walls of feedback... but listening to "Morning Becomes Eclectic" for the first time in fifteen years as I waited for Ride to play I was treated to a barrage of forgettable, tuneless, garblers in Native American headdresses singing whoa-oh-oh-y car insurance jingles (or at least that's what it sounded like to me). You know, Coachellacore or the stuff that plays during Spotify ads when sensible users remove their earbuds. Ride, on the other hand, wrote some of the tightest (I'll never use that word again to describe music, I promise) melodies, sang the pretties harmonies, channeled The Byrds, Love, and Buffalo Springfield, and then added a healthy squall of guitar noise that make me wonder why all the "nu-gazers" are so bland and limp (...oh yeah, Slowdive). 
Ride played at Coachella the other night, apparently. They're playing at the Warfield tonight. They're playing in Pomona at the Fox Theater tomorrow. 


*****
Now allow me to get all listicle and give you the Top 13 Ride Songs:
“Vapour Trail” from Nowhere (1990) 


I first heard this on WMNF in 1990 when a DJ played the entire record. I later taped the video onto a VHS cassette when it was played on City Limits (Much Music) and it inspired my brother to go into graphic design.

“Taste”  — form the Fall EP (1990) 

 

Sounds like a poppier My Bloody Valentine, right? A pretty terrible video, though, although Mark's hair inspired me to grow out my bowl. Also, I did a sketch of him four our high school literary journal -- ha!


“All I Can See” — from the Ride EP (1989)

When the Smile compilation came out I played that record so much that it immediately conjures up the harsh winter of my freshman year in the dorm.

“Cool Your Boots” — from Going Blank Again (1992)


Going Blank Again was the first record I bought without having heard anything off of it. I was on a ski trip in Colorado and I didn't even know Ride had a new album out so I had to grab it before I returned to rural Iowa, where I'd be screwed. I was not disappointed. Bonus points for Withnail & I samples.

“Crown of Creation” — from Carnival of Light (1994)


I'd suspected from the beginning that Ride were Byrds fans. Carnival of Light would seem to be pretty strong evidence for that suspicion. This song title comes from a Jefferson Airplane album, the album also included a Creation cover, and a photo of Andy Bell showed him wearing a Buffalo Springfield shirt. Still, 1968 was a much more forward looking year than 1995 would turn out to be.


“Twisterella” — from Going Blank Again



“Only Now" — from Carnival of Light




“1000 Miles” — from Carnival of Light 




“Close My Eyes” — from the Ride EP


Bonus points for mentioning the band's name in the song.


“Dreams Burn Down” — from the Fall EP 



“Leave Them All Behind” — from Going Blank Again



“Like a Daydream” — from the Play EP (1990)


Long-sleeve T-shirts and early hints at Byrds love

“Sennen” -- from Today Forever EP (1991)


It sounds completely like Robert Plant's "I'm in the Mood," which is kind of amazing.

*****

Follow me at ericbrightwell.com

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