Elijah Wood aka DJ Jamie Starr began the July 10 set at Amoeba Hollywood playing obscure disco and funk beats from the likes of Benis Letin, Kiki Gyan and Betty Padgett (thank god for Shazam), throwing in a little bit of The Jets and ESG to round it out. Heloise came out dressed in head-to-toe leopard print wrapped in a pink sequined fabric, sounding great despite singing along to just a backing track on “Perelandra,” from her excellent alt-pop album Diamond Dust. “Are you wearing comfortable shoes?” she asked before performing to jagged disco song “Dancefloor Destroyer.” “Let the music move you” she sang on the Kylie-ish "Dive In," shimmying around like the alternative diva she is, cooing in exotic ways and then played along on an iPhone-based electric organ — no one rocks an app-based instrument like Heloise! On the last song, “Vibezz,” she whipped around her microphone wire to the song’s slow synth chords and pumped her fist when the beat picked up, belting over the backing track and owning the stage with her one-woman show.
Given all the hubbub this past holiday season surrounding the opening of Peter Jackson's newest venture into J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, I think it's time to shift the spotlight onto a little known sub-subgenre tucked away, much like a hobbit hole snugly abutting a hillside, within Amoeba Music's extensive Rock Various Artists section: Hobbit Rock.
Now, I have to admit the first time I clocked the Hobbit Rock bin card I was taken aback, gagging on the question: what the heck is this? Browsing though the titles it began to make sense. Much like unfolding a map of Middle Earth to explore a visual representation of the diverse cultures and histories that Tolkien invented to people his fictional universe, browsing Hobbit Rock is to peruse a collection of music that either inspires sincere impressions of Middle Earth or is unequivocally informed by Tolkein's fantasy writings.
In other words, if an artist makes blatant Tolkien-esque references in lyric (apparently Led Zeppelin couldn't resist slipping more than a little Middle Earthliness into practically every album) or otherwise artistic content (see my list below) then that, friends, is pure, gem mint ten Hobbit Rock.
We all remember from Elijah Wood's appearances on The Osbournes way back when what a huge music fan this guy is! Now, years later, his passion for music is still just as strong and he even owns his own label, Simian Records! Here at Amoeba we are thrilled to announce that Frodo himself, Mr. Elijah Wood, will be spinning selections at the Hollywood store this Sunday, August 8, from 2-4pm! Show up and get down! For more on our Sunday Matinee Sound Series, click here!