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Ten Great New International Music Releases from 2017

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 19, 2017 07:15pm | Post a Comment

By Michael Henning

Tony Allen, The Source

10. Tony Allen - The Source (Blue Note)

Now 77 years old, Allen still plays with the vigor of someone 50 years younger, managing to sound both extremely tight and also suitably loose on this new record. He doesn't miss a beat, carrying the eclectic array of compositions with his fantastically funky rhythms. On top of that, he somehow manages to make his extraordinary playing sound effortless, like he is barely trying. The tunes themselves range from Afrobeat stompers to more laid back, jazzy grooves.

 

antibalas, where the gods are in peace

9. Antibalas - Where The Gods Are In Peace (Daptone)

Brooklyn's now legendary Antibalas are probably the best known and most successful of the modern crop of Afrobeat bands, and for good reason. They've been at it for almost 20 years now, and have released six excellent studio albums along the way. Their new one, on the always reliable Daptone label, is another high mark for them, with some of their most impassioned playing yet, and their politically and socially conscious lyrics resound even more in these troubling times.

 

Three New African Albums You Need To Hear

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 7, 2017 06:04pm | Post a Comment

by Michael Henning

Here is a special spotlight on three excellent new African albums that were recently released. Each of them is available at all three of Amoeba Music's stores and on Amoeba.com.

Tony Allen, The SourceTony Allen - The Source (Blue Note)

Tony Allen was the drummer and musical director for Fela Kuti's Africa '70 from 1969-1979, a decade that saw the prolific ensemble release an almost unbelievable 32 albums, including all of their strongest material. He is responsible for inventing the signature Afrobeat rhythm and sound, and contributed his unique brand of propulsive percussion to masterpieces such as Shakara, Roforofo Fight, Zombie, He Miss Road, Up Side Down,Yellow Fever, Kalakuta Show, No Agreement, Opposite People, along with several others. Very little live footage exists of Tony Allen leading Fela'a group, but this 1978 performance from Germany is a high-quality glimpse at what a formidable live band they were at the height of their powers.

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RIP Holger Czukay

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 3, 2017 03:05pm | Post a Comment

Holger Czukay

by Michael Henning

Can founder and bassist Holger Czukay died September 5, 2017. The band posted the following on Facebook: "We are very sad to confirm that Holger passed away yesterday, in his home, the old CAN Studio in Weilerswist. His wife U-She passed away only weeks before. Holger was devastated by the loss of his beloved partner, but was looking forward to making more music and was in good spirits. His passing has come as a shock. We will post more information about funeral arrangements shortly."



In the mid-1960's, Czukay studied under electronic music pioneer Karlheinz Stockhausen in Cologne. Can, Tago MagoCan's soon-to-be keyboardist Irmin Schmidt was another student of Stockhausen at that time, and it was not long before the two joined forces, recruiting guitarist Michael Karoli and drummer Jaki Liebezeit to round out the core Can lineup in 1968. Malcolm Mooney, an American living in Germany at the time, became their singer for the first few years. Can recorded their dynamic and fiery debut album, Monster Movie, with him. Mooney was later replaced by Damo Suzuki, a long-haired Japanese hippie who the band notoriously found busking on the street the day of one of their gigs. They convinced Damo to join them later that night for a performance and he stayed a member of the band for the next three albums. It was an excellent match, one that yielded some of the band's best work, including their sprawling psychedelic double LP masterpiece Tago Mago, the now-heavily sampled funky grooves of Ege Bamyasi, and the endearing ambient-rock classic Future Days.
Holger Czukay
Czukay did most of the engineering and producing of the early Can albums, shaping their sound with his incisive tape cutting technique, and turning group improvisations into finished pieces. No less important to the group's sound, he also played the bass with a unique style which might be best summed up as "minimalist avant-funk." Of his chosen instrument, Czukay once said “the bass player’s like a king in chess. He doesn’t move much, but when he does he changes everything.”

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Thanks for Supporting the 5th Annual Amoeba Art Show!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 7, 2012 03:20pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Art Show 2012 Oakland
 
All photos by Kaitlin Layher.

On Friday, May 4th, Amoeba celebrated the diverse talents of the Amoeba family with over 20 Amoeba artists from all three of our stores (and even a few Amoeba graduates) at the fifth annual Amoeba Art Show.

Finding the perfect location for the event turned out to be a breeze as former Amoebite Ryan Stark
Ryan Stark
generously donated the site of his future cafe Black Spring on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland. The cafe isn't scheduled to open until mid-summer after Ryan gets back from touring with his band ++++ (you can see them play at The New Parish with Ceremony on May 27th, by the way), so the spacious and empty future home of Black Spring was ideal for filling with art, DJs, and friends of Amoeba. Ryan even provided a special drip coffee preview for those curious about what's to come in a few months and spoke about plans to feature a new artist every month on the walls of Black Spring.

Guests arriving to the Art Show were greeted by The Postcard Machine (Possibly From The Future), who dispensed original art postcards for just $2. This crafty "machine" also made small talk via microphone to passers-by. Inside, the joint was jumping from 6pm to 11pm, and was punctuated by a couple of performances by glamorous belly dancers Julie Rea and Jessie Loring.

  The Postcard Machine (Possibly From The Future)


Julie Rea and Jessie Loring

DJ Spencer
As DJs Spencer, Rob, and Michael Henning played all vinyl sets (of course) and vegan cupcakes (works of art themselves)were sold by Fat Bottom Bakery, guests
DJ Michael Henning
perused the diverse collection of Amoebite art that adorned the walls of the entry hallway and main room. The range in both style and format throughout the collection was truly stunning, from collage and mirror work by Dereck Donohue to oil painting on wood by Lori Beth Katz to a surfboard collaboration by Billy Sprague and Shahram Imen to photography by Gabriel Wheeler, Kaitlin Layher, Kelly Sweeney Osato, Roberto, Jonah Tice, and Rick Frystak.

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