Recap: May Charity Auction to Benefit YOLA

Posted by Amoebite, May 6, 2013 02:15pm | Post a Comment

It was almost Cinco de Mayo and everyone at Amoeba was drunk! Well...OK, not really. But people were bidding as if they were drunk (on Tequila and agua de melon spiked with Cuervo).

Taco USAOn Saturday, May 4 we had a lighting-speed auctioneer, bestselling author Gustavo Arellano, hosting our Cuatro de Mayo charity auction to raise money for the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (YOLA). He was also available after the auction to sign copies of his book, Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America.

In case you're not familiar, Gustavo is also a lecturer with the Chicana and Chicano Studies department at California State University, Fullerton. He writes “¡Ask a Mexican!,” a nationally syndicated column in which he answers any and all questions about America’s spiciest and largest minority. The column has a weekly circulation of over 2 million in 39 newspapers across the United States, won the 2006 and 2008 Association of Alternative Weeklies award for Best Column. In addition, Gustavo is a lifelong resident of Orange County and is the proud son of two Mexican immigrants (one of whom was illegal).

YOLAThe recipient of Saturday's auction was Gustavo Dudamel's Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (YOLA) program – inspired by Venezuela's revolutionary El Sistema. The LA Phil and its community partners provide free instruments, intensive music training, and academic support to students from underserved neighborhoods, enabling every child to contribute using their full potential. YOLA changes lives – one child, one family, one community at a time.

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Classical Music Sale: Overture

Posted by Job O Brother, November 2, 2009 08:28pm | Post a Comment

It's the, uh, instrument they're focused on. Yeah.

New Amoeba Music customers sometimes ask if/when we have any sales. My patent answer is usually something along the lines of:

“Not officially, because we’re constantly lowering prices on our entire selection.”

…Unless, of course, the customer is holding a ferret and that ferret is looking like he might wanna sneak into my ear-hole and munch my juicy brains, in which case I will modify my answer to:

“Not officially, because we’re constantly calling the police to report illegal pets such as ferrets.”

This may seem like a very niche circumstance to you, dear reader. All I can say is that, until you work at a record store for over eight years like me, you shouldn’t assume the regularity of near-lethal ferret activity. Especially if you’re working the folk music section.

They mostly eat the eyes of our innocent young.

The above being mostly factual, it is something of a special event that Amoeba Music Hollywood has announced an upcoming sale.

November 14 and 15 (or, if you’re British: 14 and 15 November) we will be hosting our first ever Classical Music Sale. All music (tapes, CD's, vinyl, 8-track, etc.) from our Classical Music section will be 20% off for these two days only. What is perhaps most exciting (or dangerous, depending on how much of your rent check you end up spending) is that this sale will include wall-items.

What’s a “wall-item”? They are the choice and glorious pieces of vinyl that line the walls of Amoeba, showcased like the fine works of art they are. And they will be much cheaper than they’re worth.

All of this is, in part, inspired by the new wave of local interest in Classical Music spawned by the arrival of superstar conductor Gustavo Dudamel to the post of Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. They’re calling it “Dudamel Fever” and frankly, I don’t think the government is prepared with enough vaccine to inoculate it.

In the coming blogs from yours truly, I plan on exploring some Classical Music that I cherish, and I fully intend to manipulate you into loving it as well. You’re welcome.

So stay tuned, mark your calendars, and get ready as I beef up your confidence so that you can finally brave the vast Classical Music section at Amoeba Music Hollywood with poise and curiosity. Before you know it, you’ll be dazzling people at cocktail parties with pithy antidotes about your favorite Baroque oboe sonata. Rad.

Gustavo Dudamel Wins Over Los Angeles In an Instant

Posted by Amoebite, October 6, 2009 10:47am | Post a Comment
gustavo dudamel

Gustavo! Gustavo! Gustavo!

It’s unlikely that anyone driving around LA lately hasn’t noticed the signs, billboards and banners welcoming famed conductor Gustavo Dudamel to the city. They’re pretty hard to miss. Although I was glad to see them, I did wonder to myself how many other people glancing at them knew who the gustavo dudamel los angeles philharmonichandsome young Venezuelan is, or, for that matter, even cared.

Being a somewhat optimistic classical music fan, and having refused to buy into the current myth (and despite what you’ve heard, it is a myth) that so-called “classical” music is at death’s door, and that the only people still interested in this art form are white-haired eighty-somethings driving motorized wheelchairs equipped with state-of-the-art oxygen tanks, I naturally have welcomed the coming of St. Gustavo with open arms. But I did believe that, despite the press blitz, most of Los Angeles would remain apathetic toward a man who represents (next to Lawrence Welk or Liberace, perhaps) the least hip genre of music imaginable. But now I think I might be wrong. And I’m oh so glad I am.

There hasn’t been a welcome of this nature for a classical musician in this city since, perhaps, the days of Stokowski or Leonard Bernstein. I certainly haven’t seen such a thing in my lifetime (I just turned forty-three). And you may be thinking that it’s all hype. Believe me, it ain’t.

First off, Dudamel, despite his youth (he’s only twenty-eight), is a great musician. He most certainly is not a creation of the press, and the accolades he has received have been well earned. He single-handedlygustavo dudamel turned the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela (of which Dudamel is a native son) into a world class ensemble, with recordings of Mahler’s 5th Symphony and the Tchaikovsky 5th (both released on Deutsche Grammaphon) that are second to none. But beyond that is the energy that Dudamel exudes on the podium – it’s real, it’s palpable, you can taste it. Add to that the mixture his personal charm and magnanimous personality and you have the makings of the perfect ambassador for “classical” music.

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