David J Book Signing at Book Passage in Corte Madera

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 13, 2014 04:30pm | Post a Comment

David J Who Killed Mister Moonlight Book

Join Amoeba Music and Book Passage in welcoming David J. Haskins to Book Passage in Corte Madera on November 7th at 7pm for a signing of his new book Who Killed Mister Moonlight?: Bauhaus, Black Magick, and Benediction!

david jDavid J (bassist for the legendary groups Bauhaus and Love and Rockets) begins with the creation of Bauhaus’s seminal debut hit "Bela Lugosi’s Dead," and offers a no-holds-barred account of his band’s rapid rise to fame and glory in the late '70s, their sudden dissolution in the '80s, and their subsequent — and often strained — reunions. In between, he explores his work as a solo performer and with acclaimed trio Love And Rockets — culminating in the devastating fire that ripped through the sessions for their 1996 album Sweet F.A. He also delves deep into his exploration of the occult, drawing together a diverse cast of supporting characters, including William S. Burroughs, Alan Moore, Genesis P. Orridge, and Rick Rubin. Bristling with power and passion, music and magic, Who Killed Mister Moonlight? is a rock & roll memoir like no other.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with David J.

Posted by Amoebite, July 15, 2014 12:57pm | Post a Comment

David J.

David J. is probably the only member of seminal post-punk/goth band Bauhaus to release a Britney Spears cover. The song shows up as a bonus track on David's latest album, An Eclipse of Ships, and naturally it's a jazzy, film noir-influenced take on the pop singer's "Toxic." Fittingly, the video for the track features adult film star/industrial musician Sasha Grey; after all, this is the man who named his band Love and Rockets after one of the first alternative comics and who wrote a play about doomed Warhol starlet Edie Sedgwick. True to the DIY roots of the UK punk scene in which he made his name, David's most recent album was entirely crowd funded through Kickstarter.

Recently, David J. swung by Amoeba Hollywood to share some of the music that shaped his career and some of the newer artists who inspire him today. He kicks off this installment of What's in My Bag? with Oil City Confidential, a rockumentary about Dr. Feelgood, a British pub rock band with a huge influence on the early punk scene. He then shows off an LP copy of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg's album together, because, as he says, "you can't beat vinyl." Soon afterwards, David selects the new LP by his buddies and similarly Gainsbourg-influenced bossa nova stylists Thievery Corporation.

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(Wherein I begrudgingly mumble the Body Electric.)

Posted by Job O Brother, February 25, 2014 10:07am | Post a Comment


I hope you won’t think less of me, dear reader, but I’ve started going to the gym regularly. But wait – it gets worse – I’ve been going there to exercise.

I realize this sort of behavior doesn’t gracefully jive with my established persona; I live my life and make choices guided by the principle: What would Mrs. Dalloway do if Laurie Anderson was scripting her fate? If someone’s going to cast an actor to play me in a film, I aspire for the obvious choice to be Liv Ullman, or – if the film’s merely going to focus on my nervous breakdown, circa 1996 – Mink Stole, please.

"I can neither live with this crushing depression, nor tolerate anymore cheap, turquoise jewelry."
- Mink Stole as the author in his early 20s

None of these women would be caught dead wearing the sweatpants and V-neck undershirt I don for my workout routine, nor subject themselves to my Sisyphean Stairmaster set – though the look on my face when I approach the scale in the men’s locker-room does, I think, parallel certain expressions Ms. Ullman crafted in some of the darker scenes of Ansikte mot Ansikte.

Exercise is boring. It rivals sleep for my title of Most Boring Thing I’m Obligated to Do if I’m Going to Stay Alive on this Impertinent Planet Against My Better Judgment. (I’m sure you can imagine the glittered sash for this honor looks obnoxious.) I sometimes wonder if I don’t burn more calories procrastinating gym-time; regardless, if I’m going to have any meaningful self-respect, I simply cannot kid myself into thinking that – instead of heading for the treadmill – it’s a “real priority” to wash the lids of my spice-rack… again.

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The Big Pink and A Place To Bury Strangers Heart Feedback

Posted by Aaron Detroit, September 22, 2009 05:00pm | Post a Comment
If the gentlemen of London’s The Big Pink and New York’s A Place To Bury Strangers are to have their way this fall – you will have a serious case of tinnitus by Winter Solstice via their dark-veined noise-pop. Both bands love the volume loud, worship at the alters of 80’s Gloom-Pop and early-‘90’s Shoegaze, and both have new releases out in the next month. While both bands paint with Kevin Shields’s and Daniel Ash’s brush-strokes each band shades their canvas quite differently and uniquely.

The Big Pink signed to cult-label 4AD this year. The team-up couldn’t have been a better fit as the duo’s tunes could slide in nicely in a playlist alongside tracks from the label’s 80’s and 90’s roster of ethereal and gothic-leaning releases. They also share with their predecessors a keen eye and love
for packaging their music -– a dying art form for sure --adding dimensions to the music and an additional keyhole into the universe the band has created within their sound. The band’s pre-4AD releases of dead-sexy lo-fi electro vs. feedback bliss-outs were accompanied by homoerotic and ethereal sleeve artwork by Dennis Cooper (The duo also borrowed the title for their song “Frisk” from Cooper). The band’s newly polished, less-amorphous and refined sound (courtesy of major league mixing-czar Rich Costey) featured on their debut LP, A Brief History of Love, is issued with a murky, blurred and slightly unsettling cover photo of a bare-chested woman - insinuating and helping inject a similarly subversive sexual tone of their indie releases into the hazy pools of stoned reverb and romantic wistful grooves of the new album.

There has been some debate amongst critics and fans about the band’s credibility and authenticity due to the band’s big-time connections; Singer Robbie Furze is a former paramour of Lily Allen and spent time playing guitar for Digital Hardcore Founder, Alec Empire. Milo Cordell (who plays everything Furze doesn’t) comes from a music biz family. Cordell’s Father is Producer Denny Cordell, most famous for producing Moody Blues’s first album and Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale.” Also, prior to establishing The Big Pink, Cordell founded the label Merok Records, which released some of the earliest rumblings by hipster magnates Klaxons and Crystal Castles. Ultimately, the band delivers fully on the promise of their stellar pre-album singles and one would be best served to ignore the members’ pedigree and associations for one true, full spin of the LP, a wonderfully rewarding listening experience, especially for fans of the “classic” 4AD-era.

Brooklynites A Place To Bury Strangers’ approach to their Shoegaze-y Pop Psychedelia is much more aggressive, in-the-red and less doped-out than Big Pink’s turn. APTBS release an outstanding follow up to their most excellent self-titled debut next month. Exploding Head, their first full-length for Mute, has a justified title as it is a taut set of 10 high-strung sonic assaults and dripping-wet-in-a-cave songs in just under 43 minutes. The band can shift seamlessly between intense “You Made Me Realise”-esque moments to murky JAMC slink and jangly New Order-informed pop. The track “Everything Always Goes Wrong” creates a sinister and menacing atmosphere that evokes a lo-fi but melodic Death Rock or Black Metal song played by a fired-up Spacemen 3, all before serving up a bouncing Cure bass line for the title track. APTBS also share the “whole-package” approach with Big Pink; Exploding Head’s cover art looks like a pixilated aerial scan of terra firma busting apart. The minimal image’s suggestion plays well with the ear-scorch of the band’s relentless attack. Unlike The Big Pink, there is no controversy about the APTBS’s legitimacy. Mainman Oliver Ackerman spent time in a Virginia-based neo-Shoegazer band called Skywave
with a small but loyal cult-following (whose other members went on to form the similarly noisy and wonderful Ceremony) and spends his down-time from APTBS selling his increasingly successful line of hand-wired effects pedals, Death By Audio.

The Big Pink’s A Brief History of Love is in stores today (9/22) and A Place To Bury Strangers’ Expoding Head follows in two weeks on October 6th. Be Sure to pop in to Amoeba Hollywood for the limited vinyl edition of Brief History which boasts a bonus colored 12” featuring the Gang Gang Dance remix of Big Pink’s gorgeous single, “Velvet.” These will likely go fast!

Amoeba Hollywood’s Goth/Industrial Section Featured New Releases Week of 9/22:

Spectre -
10 Pezzi Facili (Ten Easy Tunes) CD [Old Europa Cafe] .
The second solo album from Marcello Fraioli, vocalist and guitarist for cult ritual/folk outfit  AIN SOPH. Minimal orchestrations of prog , folk, new wave, Italian cabaret, and poetry collide on this tight set. Includes one Ain Soph reinterpretation plus cool covers of Franco Battiato's "Magick Shop," Francesco Guccini's "L'Avvelenata", as well as John Barry's "The Persuaders." Recommended.

Habitat -
Code Grey CD [Self-Released]
A higly recommended, extremely limited release of 100(!) copies by L.A. dark and esoteric noisemeisters/soundscapists, Habitat. Fans of Coil and Cyclobe should jump at this gorgeous sophomore release from one of Los Angeles's most promising and unique acts!

In Next Week, Amoeba Hollywood:

The long-awaited archival release from the seminal beginnings of Throbbing Gristle members Genisis P-Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti will FINALLY be in stock by next week!

Clan Of Xymox -Emily CDEP [Metropolis]
The classic dark-wave band celebrates its 25th anniversary with this CDEP featuring an exclusive B-Side and remixes of the the group's club hit "Emily" culled from their 2009 comeback album In Love We Trust.

Still Fresh...

Psyclon Nine - We The Fallen CD [Metropolis] The Aggro-Electro act returns its darkest, most aggressive album to date. EVIL!

My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult - Death Threat CD [Sleazebox]
Still dark n' sleazy after all these years! Thrill Kill Kult's 13th studio release!

6Comm - Like Stukas Angels Fall: Retrospect 1984 -1990 CD [Kenaz]
Re-recorded album of classic tracks featuring songs from the early 6Comm period and also a few tracks from his previous work in Death in June. Electro - Folk - Classical - Martial - Experimental -- 16 great songs, including new versions of "Torture Garden" and "Carousel" with new vocal sections. Nice gold foil blocked Digipak!

Jessie Evans - Is It Fire? LIMITED LP/CD [Fantomette]
Former Subtonix/The Vanishing/Autonervous member finally goes solo. Features appearances by Budgie (Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Creatures) and Toby Dammit (Swans, Iggy Pop).

(In which Job educates you and also lies here and there.)

Posted by Job O Brother, July 17, 2007 12:06pm | Post a Comment
I’m looking around my apartment (it’s a bachelor, so this doesn’t take much time) at my collections of who’s-its and what’s-its (you want thing-a-ma-bobs? I got plenty) to find something I want to tell you about, in hopes that it will inspire or delight you, as it has me.

Which is awfully presumptuous. I mean, there’s a small chance that you and I don’t have the exact same tastes in everything, right? Maybe you don’t think that “Love & Rockets” is one of the finest works of literature in the history of mankind; perhaps you’d disagree that beholding a Rothko in person can be an emotional experience; mayhap, though this seems ridiculously far-fetched, you might even balk at my pronouncement that both Isaac Albéniz’s operas and “SCTV” are under-appreciated.

My idea of a chick-flick. No. 14, 1960, by Mark Rothko

But I digress. Life is confusing and challenging enough without entertaining the idea that you and I might be different. The best course of action is to assume we’re on the same page, and that the only real difference between us is that you don’t know about some of the stuff I do, and my job is to tell you about these things, so you can rush out and discover them. D’accord?

I’ve been employed by Amoeba Music Hollywood for nigh three years. For the first year, I worked full time in the classical music section. This was a valuable opportunity to further develop both my collection and knowledge of the genre. (For instance, I learned that the piano is actually played with hands, and that Mozart wrote most of his music during his lifetime!)

My tastes in classical music are broad. I’m particularly fond of British music of the Victorian era, modern Scandinavian composers, German lieder, and most Baroque music, especially if it involves woodwinds. I’m not a fan of Mozart, except for his operas which are some of my favorites; I detest Chopin and die a little inside when a customer asks me for advice on which recordings of his music to buy; Russian romantics leave me wanting and Anne Sofie Von Otter’s 1993 recording of songs by Edvard Grieg makes me rock out with my cock out.

Frédéric Chopin. "You can just tell from my music that I was lousy in bed. I'll bet I slept with my mouth open, too, and made smacking noises with my mouth when I ate crackers!"

One composer that has brought me much happiness is one that many haven’t listened to. His name: Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges - a Renaissance man who was thankfully born before they invented “Hello, My Name Is” stickers.

Total stud and all-around dignified chewer, Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges

Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, whom we’ll refer to as "Joe" for the sake of time, was born in 1739 and was a Capricorn.

Capricorns, as those of you who study astrology know, are famous for being ambitious, focused, and more likely to disown bastard children than any other sign in the Zodiac. They were, for a brief period during the reign of King Louis VIII, forced to wear their clothes on the inside of their skin, which is where we get the saying “I’ve got you under my skin,” a term later popularized when Ella Fitzgerald ate a sleeping Cole Porter for lunch.

Joe’s pa was a white, French, plantation owner and aristocrat; his ma was an African slave. As a child he excelled in fencing, violin playing, and music composition. Of these skills, fencing came in the handiest when he fought against the monarchy in the French Revolution, and he eventually became the first black colonel in the French army. He was also the first black, French mason. And, though this is under dispute by some historians, the first black Frenchman to call Marie Antoinette a cow-faced hooker.

"That's nothing compared to what Perez Hilton said about me last March!"

His music is of the “Mannheim school” style, like Mozart and another favorite of mine, Franz Joseph Haydn (affectionately called “Papa Haydn” because he made so many of his Audiences finish their homework before letting them listen to his music).

Sadly, Joe’s life, while often illustrious, ended in abject poverty and isolation. He died in 1799 when his body stopped living.

I love his music. It is sparkling, intelligent; seductive and impassioned without being emotive or gushing. It’s especially nice in the daytime when you want everything to feel clean and alive (a perfect soundtrack for dusting furniture or reading that copy of Penthouse Forum you’ve been putting off).

Like the best of classical-period music, it is trim and precise, yet effervescent, evoking a sense of purity-of-will perhaps only attainable in music before Kurt Cobain shot himself.

I highly recommend it to people interested in starting somewhere with classical music, but unsure where or with whom. That is, if you’re looking for music that evokes a joie de vivre. Those dudes who are looking for something to round-out their collection of Neurosis albums and black metal CD’s would do better to seek out Kronos Quartet’s album “Black Angels” or a symphony by Shostakovich.

I hope this information is of some interest. If you have any questions about where to start with classical music, feel free to write me, or sneak into my house while I’m sleeping and tie me up until I make a few suggestions. I’m happy to help!