Amoeblog

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Xenia Rubinos

Posted by Amoebite, March 1, 2017 12:03pm | Post a Comment

Xenia Rubinos What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

Xenia Rubinos, the Brooklyn-based songwriter/performer, went shopping at Amoeba Hollywood recently and let us in on some of the records that inspired her latest album, Black Terry Cat. "The first track off my record...was totally inspired by this song, 'Love To Love You.'" She is, of course, speaking of Donna Summer's disco classic, which was produced by the legendary Giorgio Moroder. "I just like how unhinged she is, and unapologetically sexy and powerful and ethereal," Rubinos says of Summer. Another artist who inspired her was the prolific jazz pianist and composer Mary Lou Williams. Speaking about Williams' solo piano recital at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Rubinos said, "Mary Lou really inspired me a lot...and she's, kind of, not as well known as she should be."

Xenia Rubinos Black Terry CatXenia Rubinos draws inspiration from social issues, civil rights struggles, and her Afro-Latina heritage. After graduating from Berklee College of Music with a degree in jazz composition, Rubinos began her career by performing DIY shows in her apartment. Her debut album, Magic Trix, was released via Ba Da Bing! in 2013.

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New "What's in My Bag?" Episode with Giorgio Moroder

Posted by Amoebite, April 4, 2016 07:42pm | Post a Comment

Giorgio Moroder Amoeba What's In My Bag?

"There is America, there is England, and there is Sweden, and slowly they are taking over." You heard it here first folks: Sweden is taking over the US and England! Well, at least according to legendary producer/artist Giorgio Moroder, as he talks about the incredible musical talent coming from the Scandinavian country. Amoeba San Francisco, recently had the pleasure of hosting a signing of the disco/electronic-music pioneer's latest album, Deja Vu. Beforehand, the affable Moroder went record shopping at the store and shared his picks with us.

In 1966 Moroder began releasing singles under the name Giorgio, working in studios in Berlin and Munich before beginning a long and fruitful partnership with musician/producer Pete Bellotte and disco diva Donna Summer for her debut LP, Lady of the Night. A year later Summer's "Love to Love You Baby" became an international hit.

Giorgio Moroder Deja Vu

In 1978 Moroder began delving into film music, crafting original scores for FoxesAmerican GigoloCat People, and Scarface, among others. The following year he released his first solo album, E=MC². Over the course of much of the '90s and '00s, Moroder scored video games, films, and worked on assorted non-musical projects. In 2013, he contributed to Daft Punk's Random Access Memories album. His most recent album, Deja Vu, features guest vocalists Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears, Charli XCX, Sia, and Kelis. Moroder also DJs on the international circuit, with his next gig planned for summer 2016 in Paris.

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May the Fourth -- A Look at Star Bars and Deep Space Discos

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 4, 2015 11:27am | Post a Comment



The original Star Wars had a huge impact on pop culture. As a child, nothing in the film had more impact on me than the cantina scene -- and judging from the changes in dance music and imitations that followed I wasn't alone. What better occasion to reflect on the film's impact than May the Fourth, also celebrated as Star Wars Day.




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Star Wars was released on 25 May 1977. I was probably three years old when I saw it in the theater because my fourth birthday followed a couple of weeks later and there were Star Wars dolls* emerging from the middle of a birthday bundt cake. After The Empire Strikes Back, George Lucas would increasingly strain to appeal directly to children by introducing cuddly aliens and increasingly relying on cartoonish CGI but for me and many other children, Star Wars was already deeply appealing, dark and sometimes frightening as it was. 


For comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell, the cantina scene was the "threshold crossing" in the "hero's journey." For me it was a bit like viewing an ethnographic bestiary -- or a Halloween party (in the 1970s, Halloween hadn't yet been hijacked by adults and turned into streetwalker cosplay). One of the cheif appeals of Star Wars was its mystery and world building -- something which the expansion of the franchise would later explain away with banal backstories -- but on full display in the cantina. Of all the characters, 
only
Greedo was addressed by a name. The rest of the assembled wore no pageant sashes, name tags, or hash tags and aside from the viewers' understandings of evolution there were few clues as to the conditions of their home worlds. 
 
LAX Theme Building

The Star Wars cantina was what I wish Encounter in LAX's Theme Building had been, and what it will be if they get it right when it's re-opened. What the cantina wasn't was every lame, uninspired hive of pretense and conformity which bills itself (despite having a liquor license) as a "speakeasy."  It wasn't illuminated by Edison bulbs, the wines weren't listed on a chalk board, there was no unfinished wooden sign on the building's exterior describing it as an apothecary, and it was probably cash only. The bartender wasn't a lumbersexual and he didn't spend twenty minutes rubbing herbs on a mason jar in the name of "mixology."

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #31: Rooftop Films, Bootie NYC, Tom Jones, Great Googa Mooga, Manhattan Cocktail Classic +

Posted by Billyjam, May 15, 2013 12:44pm | Post a Comment


Since the NY State of Mind Amoeblog #29, in which I previewed a bunch of the concerts and events (mostly outdoor and mostly free) over the coming months in New York City, was posted a couple of weeks ago, several more concerts and events have been announced for the fun summer season ahead. These include the lineup for the concerts in Prospect Park and the Rooftop Films series, which just kicked off last weekend and runs through August with a non-stop program of great movies screened on rooftops round the city. The mission statement of the oft-lauded non-profit who present the Rooftop Film series is "to engage diverse communities by showing independent movies in outdoor locations" and this they do each weekend to everyone's enjoyment. This weekend, for example, they'll screen the New York premiere of the Reuben Atlas-directed documentary Brothers Hypnotic about the collective lives of the eight members of the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble who will perform a live set following the 9pm screening. This free event happens Friday night (May 17th) at Outdoors at MetroTech Commons, Bridge Street & Johnson Street in Downtown Brooklyn. The following night (also in Brooklyn but only two subway stops from Manhattan) will be New York Mayhem - a series of short underground films by local filmmakers about their city. Unlike the previous night however there is a charge for this one of $13 general admission. Saturday, May 18th between 8pm and 1am at The rooftops of Industry City, 220 36th Street at 3rd Avenue, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, NY 11232. For more information, visit the Rooftop Films website.

Meanwhile, the Prospect Park concerts will include such outdoor shows as Big Boi, Phony Ppl, and D-Nice on June 20th, The Tiger Lillies on July 18th, and The Waterboys on July 19th. Most are 7pm shows and free or charge a minimal (few bucks) entrance fee. More info here. In Prospect Park this weekend, but not part of the aforementioned concert series, is the music, food, and drink weekend festival known as the Great GoogaMooga. The outdoor weekend-long event includes performances from hometown funk/soul heroes Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, The Flaming Lips, De La Soul, The Darkness, Jovanotti, Matt & Kim, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and many more acts who will provide musical entertainment between all the food and drink (beer and wine primarily, but they have whiskey and some other hard liquor too) being served up from the likes of such participating restaurants as Brooklyn's Pork Slope and Manhattan's Pig and Khao. For full eatery information, concert schedules, and tickets click here.
  

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(Wherein Spring Fever takes over the jukebox.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 28, 2011 04:25pm | Post a Comment
80's keyboard

Well my little dreamlets, we’re ten days into Spring, and it’s already clear to me what music is going to carry me through into Summer – it’s all about synthetics. Synthpop, that is, of the late 70’s and early 80’s variety.

This amuses me, because for much of my life I detested a lot of the music I’m going to celebrate here. A lot of the hatred stemmed from being so unhappy in the 1980’s; by association, the music “sounded” like unhappiness. Think of it this way: When was the last time you were taking a shower and felt like listening to the soundtrack to Psycho? Exactly.

Some say that synthpop began when Giorgio Moroder teamed up with Donna Summer and created the hit single "I Feel Love." Calling this the “start” of synthpop is convenient, but an over-simplification, because so much came before that informed it. What can be said is that the song was influential, both in terms of inspiring artists who would go on to develop the synthpop genre, and give mainstream audiences a taste for it.

What follows are some synthpop songs that bring me joy. Many can be claimed by other sub-genres of music, but they're all related. Some are guilty pleasures – the sonic equivalent to a Snickers bar, in that they are bad for me, but make me feel great for the duration I’m imbibing – and others I stand by as solid accomplishments. I’m also putting a spell on them: listening to these songs will make you feel a little ticklish in the deepest part of your brain, which will result in your not hating your fellow man as much (even though they totally deserve your hate). Enjoy!

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