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The First Song played by a Human in Outer Space was a Christmas Song

Posted by Kells, December 19, 2013 09:58pm | Post a Comment
 

On December 16th, 1965 -- 48 years before Canadian Astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield recorded his excellent rendition of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" during his nearly five month stint living on the International Space Station -- the crew of Gemini 6 played "Jingle Bells" from Earth's orbit. Check it:


Thus the first song ever played in space was a surprise rendition of "Jingle Bells" on an 8-note Honer harmonica and hand full of jingle bells to celebrate the arrival of the holiday season. If your ever at the Smithsonian Institution keep an eye out for these instruments!
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Amoeba San Francisco's Holiday Gift Selection & Expanded Box Set Section

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 5, 2012 12:59pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba San Francisco makes holiday shopping fun again!

Are you ready for a crazy Christmas? A hilarious Hanukkah? A kwazy Kwanzaa? Sure, we all are...but what should we get everyone?! 'Tis the season to shop for those we love, after all.

Browse our new gift section full of groovy music-themed lamps and mugs, album frames, games, toys, and music storage and carrying solutions.

Want to surprise the music lover in your life with a gift they'll flip over? Get them a box set! Check out our newly expanded box set section to see tomorrow's collectible today!

Get Ready to Get Christmas'd All Over Again with The Yule Logs!

Posted by Kells, December 4, 2012 09:42pm | Post a Comment

It's that most magical time of year again when I connect with a Log or two and get down to Christmas business. I'm talkin' Yule Logs of course! The toast of Chico California's holiday pops, the Yuletide surfin' jingle bell rockers that spin so many party poppin' twists on Christmas (and Hanukkah and New Year's Eve) that I bet Chubby Checker would happily choke on the cheer these Santa babes dish out come "the most wonderful time of the year". With the Yule Logs smack in the middle of their eighth season drummer Jake Sprecher was naughty nice enough to take the time to respond to this year's probing interview for Amoeba Music (where fresh, hot Yule Logs recordings are available for sale and gift-giving).
 
First things first: Happy Holidays, Yule Logs! What's on your wish list this year?

I can’t speak for everyone, but I will. Spencer (Yule Logs' lead shredder) would like a deviled egg-pomegranate milkshake, Marty (Log frontman extraordinaire) would like a Line 6 alarm clock that only plays phased-out midi files of Steven Tyler’s scat solo on “Rag Doll,” and Kirt (Bass Log) would like to win a date with Tad Hamilton. Me? I just want what every boy wants: A vinyl copy of Electro-Acoustic Music by Ianis Xenakis

With the recent release of your fourth album, Double Live, it seems apparent to me that at least one of you attended the School of Rock, which begs the question: did you graduate? If so, what was your thesis, or theses as the case may be?

Are we talking about Jack Black?

No, the "Foghat Principle", but you're right: Jack Black was the School of Rock guy.

There’s actually a real School of Rock right here in Chico for kids like 12 and under. If we are indeed talking about ol’ J. Black, I’ll just say that he peaked in Bongwater, and that it’s been a steady decline ever since. 


While we're on the subject, what sort of educational/learning experience would you say you pass on to your fans?

Spencer usually does his best to educate fans by dishing the straight story on Hanukkah, though I’m not sure how seriously he’s taken due to the fact that the rest of us are godless heathens. 

 This being your eighth season together as "the hardest working band in snow business," one might wonder as to the secret of your staying power. How do you make it work? Is it difficult to keep the wheels greased and rolling on the Yule Logs' rockmobile?

At this point I think it would actually be more difficult to say goodbye to the proverbial rockmobile than to keep it going. Eight years is a long time for any band, and at a point you can’t picture yourself not being involved. I guess it’s like a relationship in that regard, except none of us have ever wept in the dead of night over any Yule Log-related matter. Unless of course you count the time Kirt found out he had to miss that Bieb show at HP Pavilion.  

Would you say the band has changed much over the last eight years?

Well, considering that we were in our early twenties when it started up, I’d say we’ve certainly progressed as musicians. We also had lineup changes in Season 3 and Season 4, which at the time changed some of the dynamics of the band. But for the most part, we’re still a bunch of good time Charlies on the hunt for yet another wheel of cheese. 
 
 I've heard tale of your annual gig at Duffy's in Chico being the pinnacle of the Yule Log's seasonal showcase. What makes that night the "greatest night of the year" for you guys?

It’s the drunken Valhalla of all Yule Log gigs. Every bit of excess that we indulge ourselves in, or even joke about indulging in, seems possible at the Duffy’s show, whether it happens or not. And I don’t mean that in a weird way—or maybe I do? But in a nutshell, it’s this incredibly loud, wasted, packed-to-the-last-gill local time at the only rock ‘n’ roll bar in town. The whole thing is so incredibly gratifying that it’s almost hard to put into words. In fact, if I had to live one night over, and over, and over again, Groundhog Day-style, the Duffy’s show would be it, hands down.   

As far as your live show goes, what are you most looking forward to this season in terms of your traditional or as-yet-unwrapped Yule Logs performance staples?

Well we strive to take it up a notch every season, with Season 8 being no exception. Spencer is going to get beard extensions that go past his crotch so he can perform nude, Kirt has hired Geddy Lee to play bass so he can focus on his steel cage interpretive dance routine, and Marty doesn’t know it yet, but I plan to shiv him with a pen and then stomp him onstage at our next all-ages show. 

Do you Logs have any all-new holiday hits stuffed in your, erhm, stockings this year?

We’ve got a new one called “Ain’t Got Nothing (On Christmas Day)” that’s bound for hit status. Spencer originally brought the song in as a ballad, but we reworked it into an up-tempo groove in the vein of Otis Redding and old James Brown. We’re proud of it, and it’ll be on our next record come 2013.  


When you're not working on party rockin' Christmas and Hanukkah jams, what do the Yule Logs listen to?
 

I took a quick poll of the boys’ latest pleasures…
Kirt: Prince Rama Top Ten Hits of the End of the World
Marty: Fountains of WayneSky Full of Holes
Spencer: The Who - The Who by Numbers
Me: Menahan Street BandThe Crossing


I love the cover of Lindsay Buckingham's "Holiday Road" that made the cut for Double Live -- are there any other not necessarily Christmas-ish song you'd consider Log jamming?

We grapple with songs like that every season…some make the cut, and some just fall flat. We tried “Mr. Postman” in rehearsal this year and it just wasn’t coming together in any sort of faux-Christmas way, whereas “Holiday Road” was just-add-water.
We also did the same with “Michael and the Slipper Tree” by The Equals, which we simply changed one word to (you can probably guess which one); it’s become something of a deep-cut favorite at shows.  
 


In my opinion you guys are probably the most criminally overlooked, sensational seasonal ensemble ever. Considering how much effort you put into keeping everyone's spirits bright, do you all feel like you've yet to un-wrap the ultimate Christmas gift, exposure-wise? What would that be?

I think everybody in the band would answer that question somewhat differently. Chico, despite being a college town, is somewhat isolated and the realities of exposure in a smaller community are what they are. But I for one will remain pleased with everything we do so long as it continues to be as much of a good time as it’s always been, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. 



Aside from all the time and effort that goes into fully realizing each Yule Logs season, what do you dream when you dream your perfect Christmas and/or Hanukkah dream?

 I dream of a snowy cabin someplace wooded that resembles Tahoe but may or may not actually be Tahoe. Octagonal living room, sunken from the kitchen by three or four steps, with a fireplace and windows from floor to ceiling and divided only by support beams. I’m married, with children, drinking coffee on the deck in my robe while listening to Nat King Cole, pondering whether to drive the ‘69 Coupe or ‘70 El Dorado to the market for hot chocolate. 

I don’t know what the other guys’ dreams are, but they can’t be as good as that.     

I'd say that's legit. Thank you so much for your time Jake!

For Yule Logs tour dates go here and for a veritible avalanche of Yule Logs music videos 'n' things see below. Get ready to get Christmas'd!!!!















Fourth of July at Amoeba Hollywood: Food, Prizes & Tunes

Posted by Rachael McGovern, July 4, 2012 04:00pm | Post a Comment
Fourth of July started out overcast and slightly cool in Hollywood, but by about 12:15pm the clouds burned off and the sun came shining through, just in time for the festivities to start at Amoeba Hollywood. We strategically hid "golden tickets" in plastic easter eggs around the store, each filled with a prize such as a free Amoeba gift certificate, free chair massage by our go-to masseuse Terrence, free caricatures from Rene and April, or a free Amoeba t-shirt. Not to mention lots and lots of coupons for free ice cream and free hot dogs, courtesy of two food trucks visiting Amoeba today: Dogtown Dogs and The Good Times Ice Cream Truck.

Our own DJ Continental Song-gress spun records in the afternoon, providing the star-spangled soundtrack for our busy shoppers taking advantage of the last day of our massive poster sale and hunting for golden tickets.

Hollywood closes early tonight (at 7pm) but we'll be back open on Thursday, July 5 at 10:30am. Have a happy and safe holiday!

DJ Continental Song-gress at Amoeba
Note DJ Continental Song-gress's stylish, one of a kind hat hand-stitched by our very own Daniel!

4th of july golden ticket at amoeba
Strategically hidden golden tickets (a.k.a. easter eggs).

Dogtown Dogs at Amoeba

Over It: Foxtails Bridage Finds Beauty in Not Really Feeling Christmas, This Year

Posted by Kells, December 23, 2011 11:18am | Post a Comment

It's Christmas eve eve and whether or not you're reeling in feeling the frenzy of the heightened excitement of the season there's always room for a little plaintive introspection. Local auteur/chanteuse Laura Weinbach and her chamber-pop ensemble Foxtails Brigade are among many who have released a special album for the holidays this year, but no seasonal tribute has ever so sweetly serenaded the ghosts of Christmas past quite like their single "I'm Not Really In The Christmas Mood This Year" from the album Time Is Passed. The song is a beautiful if painfully heart-tugging reminder that the Christmas monster needs taming, a glockenspiel and brush lullaby for the lovers of the true meaning. Plus, it comes perfectly packaged in a ruefully gorgeous, must-see visual medium, do check out the video below!

 
Merry Christmas all, even if you're not really feeling it, this year.
 
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