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21 Record Store Day Black Friday Titles to Look for on November 29th

Posted by Amoebite, November 20, 2019 12:03pm | Post a Comment

21 Record Store Day Black Friday Titles to Look for

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Is it awesome new tunes, out in unexpected formats, filled with "previously unreleased" promise? Head out to Black Friday at Amoeba on November 29th and you'll be counting your blessings, whether your "blessing" of choice is a picture disc, first-ever vinyl pressing, or limited edition 7" single. This year's Record Store Day Black Friday releases feature some of the most exciting titles to pass through our stores on any RSD -- both the annual April extravaganza and the November retail rocker included.

Part of what makes RSD Black Friday so spcial is the limited nature of many of these releases, so take a look at this year's .pdf menu of titles and plan ahead. If you can't make it in to one of our stores on 11/29, there's still hope you can snag one of these titles. We'll add remaining RSDBF releases to Amoeba.com starting Saturday, 11/30 at 5am PT.

Record Store Day Black Friday 2019

Please note: All Record Store Day Black Friday items are limit one per customer, no holds or phone orders. RSDBF titles are available in-store only on Nov 29. Remaining titles will available for sale online starting Nov 30 at 5am PT.

In addition to these spectacular new titles, we will also special Black Friday sales on headphones, posters, select turntables, green tag DVDs & Blu-ray, and a gift certificate sale between 5-6pm only. Find out more about the Black Friday deals and happenings at Amoeba.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Opeth

Posted by Amoebite, September 24, 2019 03:15pm | Post a Comment

Opeth - What's In My Bag?

We were very excited to have Mikael Åkerfeldt of Swedish Progressive metal band Opeth do some shopping at Amoeba Hollywood and share some of his favorite albums and artists, including Belgian prog band Univers Zero. "I don't know how to describe this music, it's insane," he told us, calling them, "highly skilled musicians." Though the challenging, dark prog group are largely obscure in most places, Åkerfeldt, pointed out that in Belgium finding a Univers Zero records is like finding an ABBA record in Sweden. "Definitely worth a listen if you're tired of the regular radio FM rock," he stated, continuing, "you're gonna die, pretty much."

Swedish progressive metal band Opeth was founded in 1989 by guitarist Mikael Åkerfeldt and original frontman David Isberg with the intention of creating the "most evil band in the world." The band has gone Opeth - In Cauda Venenumthrough several lineup changes over the course of its three plus decades of existence, with& Åkerfeldt becoming Opeth's lead vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist after Isberg's departure in 1992. Opeth released their debut LP, Orchid, in 1995. Two years later, the group headed back to the studio to record a follow up, Morningrise. In support of the LP, Opeth embarked on a UK tour as well as a lengthy Scandinavian tour alongside Cradle of Filth. The success of the album won the attention of Century Media Records; the band signed to the label and Century Media released their records for the first time in the US.

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Miles’ Bitches Brew is 50 Years Old.

Posted by Rick Frystak, September 9, 2019 01:46pm | Post a Comment
 
Miles DavisBitches Brew was hatched 50 years ago to the public. Unbelievable. Columbia did a 40 Year Anniversary box set of the record, so I don’t expect costs or sales in the current marketplace to allow a 50-year version. Bitches Brew IS NOT LIKE OTHER records of its time, or any time. It should have a hype sticker on the outside. I believe it had a ‘’2-LP’’ sticker or something to let you know, or to entice you to buy/warn you. The first time I heard any of It was on a series of bootleg LPs that sounded like it was just hard core jamming, with the gents’ strict orders to play their asses off, and LOUDLY! The music itself was more like In ASilent Way at a faster tempo, dipped in more distortion, courtesy Chick’s Rhodes set to 11, and at faster tempi. There was a bigger hit of funk in this, due to Jack Dejohnette’s evolvement in the groove that was happening. I was familiar and in awe of the players, hence my interest in the first place. 
 
Then it came out on a legit 2-fer, with German painter Mati Klarwein’s fantastic gatefold artwork, so mysterious, tribal and enticing. It contributed to many sales of the record, no doubt, and just the title-Bitches Brew-challenged the norm of the day (this was 1970), visually wreaked havoc on one’s imagination, and surely tugged at the sexuality of anyone who checked it out. And that cover REALLY made you want to check it out. To this day.
 
Miles was letting the cats do their own thing, and then Teo would edit later. These cuts (or sections of them) began showing up on the boots from 1969, and many have wonderful sound quality. Miles’ album Live-Evil held edits of some of these remarkable sessions. Differing speakers tighten the sound considerably, giving the electric pianos a sound stage that blends them into what sounds like one Rhodes Piano. On headphones, Airto has some definite African groove spinning out of his groovy Brazilian head, plus some animal effects emanating from his prowess. These are especially prominent in the live cuts released in the subsequent Bitches Brew Live album.

Miles had discarded the RMI electric pianos around this time. Good. Rhodes ruled. I love the spacey dissonance of the 2 or 3 Fender Rhodes pianos-they sound like one person with fifteen fingers. These fingers split themselves into a Zawinul, a Corea, a Hancock and on the guitar, a McLaughlin, not to give short shrift to a Billy Cobham, Tony WilliamsLarry Young and the whole, big world of jazz-rock legends that those fingers were dancing to. Listening now, can you believe that this music was the beginning of huge new styles in jazz-rock thought up in the mid-late 60’s?

OK, so then the studio record(s) came out as a 2-LP set on Columbia Records’ 360-degree label. There are SOME allusions to BItches Brew on all Miles’ discs located around this time. You’ve got Harvey Brooks,  Electric Flag’s bass player on most of the studio material, shadowing Dave Holland, but never live, so only a studio thing. Was he Miles’ choice ‘cuz he dug the Flag, or what? I guess he had worked on Betty Davis’ LP around this time, and Miles dug what he was doing. He works out about half the time, the rest of the time he’s echoing Holland with Zawinul, Jack and Chick, or just doing garage band rock grooves. It gave producer Teo Macero more stuff to edit in. You’ve got Larry Young doing his best juju, but not live. There is a treasure of known innovators here, but mostly Chick, Jack, Dave, Keith and Airto, with Zawinul, Cobham and Herbie on the studio cuts. All these ‘’complete’’ box sets show the progress of Miles’ and Teo’s thinking, and I have my favorites. Here, we’re talking Bitches Brew. Bennie Maupin’s, bass clarinet added a foreboding sense of the spookyness, perhaps the best reflection of the cover art and another stroke of genius, musically, in this particular brew de’ bitch. But it’s the foundation of later jazz-rock that we have here, so big deal, indeed.

Currently we’ve got what Sony calls, ‘’The Legacy Series.’’  These have been remixed and remastered by Teo Macero and various other engineer types in the era (Stan Tonkel, Russ Payne, etc.). Legally, I understand that Joe Zawinul had to squeeze Miles to get his name credited to some of the pieces (Pharoah’s Dance, In A Silent Way, etc) that he rightfully wrote. What’s ‘’writing’’ in this context? In A Silent Way is clearly a song Joe was working on, with extra music and changes with Cannonball and on his first solo album. 

Bitches Brew is not like other of Miles’ recordings that he recorded at that time. Live, you could hear his huge change of direction, starting with his own playing, with leaping, searching whelps of chromatic blues and then into the Jack Dejohnette/Chick Corea/ Keith Jarrett show, Jack doing his massive, rolling funk trip and Chick squeezing every sound possible from the Rhodes with distortion and a ring modulator attached. And don’t forget Keith Jarrett’s last use of electronics  (including Ruta and Daitya, cut in 1972 on ECM) before going 100% acoustic, here playing the long-discontinued Fender Contempo Combo organ which Miles must have thought blended nicely with the Rhodes. To me it sounds like something you’d borrow from the kid down the street for a garage jam, but oddly sounds wonderful in Keith Jarrett’s hands, used in unison with other riffs Keith was playing. This is best illustrated in the Complete Cellar Door sessions that Sony released from 1970 sessions at that club.
 
Do you have The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions box set? Most of the unreleased (until this box set ) cuts I like better than the actual released LP takes. You can hear Miles reaching out into differing styles much more than what we’re given in the official release, pretty much a lot of similar jams that Teo Macero and Miles chose to edit severely. In fact, this is a major editing project, one that makes the tracks blossom into ‘’songs’’ that were deemed the right direction for Miles to present to his audience as his current sound. I suppose that continuity was a factor in putting the set together as time would tell.
 
Mobile Fidelity, the audiophile remastering company has released a great sounding remastered version of the record here.  Mobile Fidelity has also released In A Silent Way, with some Bitches Brew-intended material included which were meant for some of Miles' projects. Who knows, with all the tape editing, what made it and what ended up on the floor.
  
The in A Silent Way box set (highly recommended) delivers the last of the more compositional Miles cuts, many written by Wayne Shorter. Wayne does drop ‘’Sanctuary’’ into the whole Brew, almost to add a little respite to the 15-finger sound that the rest of the tracks deliver. At this time, too, Wayne was pulling back as THE writer, saving his stuff for Weather Reportand knowing from what I hear in the live situation (Wayne didn’t make the Newport Jazz Fest at this time because of traffic getting in!), that he would enjoy less improvising, as his composing was becoming more and more interesting.
 
In this remix culture, the calls to remix this record are moot-it’s been done at least twice already. The Quadraphonic remix, which plays normally and wonderfully in stereo is available all over, (I’ve seen many copies at Amoeba Music) as many original Quad Columbia LPs are. They made a big commitment to Quad when the format came out. The Quad mixes are just a few guys in a room remixing the multitrack tapes into 4 channels. These might be 3-track mixes,( folded out? )into four. Or, they could be 8-track recordings, so says Sony engineer Mark Wilder. One hears some totally different playing, unedited by Teo, and different movement in the whole project. Absolutely fascinating. There is also a Japanese Quad SA-CD 2-disc that may be remixed by Teo. I have not heard those mixes.
 
The Legacy Edition that you get when you buy the current version states that it has  been remixed and mastered by Teo Macero. This could be in error, as Teo does not mention these in his subsequent interviews, and Miles can’t comment.
 
To read a difinitive article about the Bitches Brew album, sessions and methodology, go to Paul Tingen’s phenomenal piece in Jazztimes magazine from July 2017 here: https://jazztimes.com/author/paul-tingen/

New Stanley Nelson Documentary on Jazz Legend “Miles Davis: Birth Of The Cool” Opens In NYC and LA (Trailer + Theater Info)

Posted by Billyjam, August 23, 2019 11:27am | Post a Comment

Trailer for “Miles Davis: Birth Of The Cool” that opens today @ Forum NYC & Aug 30 @ Landmark LA

The subject of the new Stanley Nelson produced and directed documentary “Miles Davis: Birth Of The Cool” that premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival and opens today at the Film Forum in NYC and next Friday (Aug 30th) at The Landmark in Los Angeles;  was truly a most unique artist. A complex creative individual, who embodied the “difficult artist” label, the multifaceted jazz genius that was Miles Davis is fully explored and beautifully captured in this new documentary that celebrates the art while not sidestepping the drama in Miles Davis’ often tumultuous personal life; from narcotics abuse to domestic violence.

Rather the film presents the artist and human being as a whole and from all angles. In so doing it importantly shows how  all of these personality pieces together, created the influential jazz legend that was Miles Davis.  Among those interviewees who weigh in on the film's subject in this documentary include fellow jazz musicians Quincy Jones and Wayne Shorter.

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Miles Davis Top Ten Vinyl Picks @ Amoeba + Miles Davis House @ SXSW

Posted by Billyjam, March 15, 2019 12:12pm | Post a Comment


Miles Davis Vinyl @ Amoeba Top Ten {March 2019]


#1 Miles Davis
The Best of Miles Davis  3LP red vinyl that (Not Now Music)

#2  Miles Davis Ascenseur pour l'échafaud [OST] [Deluxe Edition] (3LP 10" vinyl set) (Verve)

#3 Miles Davis Kind Of Blue blue-colored vinyl/LP  (Sony)

#4 Miles Davis
Miles Davis Greatest Hits LP/vinyl  (Sony)

#5 Miles Davis The Original Quintet (First Recording) vinyl/LP (Doxy)

#6 Miles Davis & John Coltrane The Final Tour: Copenhagen, March 24, 1960 vinyl/LP  (Sony Legacy)

#7 Miles Davis & Jimmy Forrest Live At The Barrel LP/vinyl (Down At Dawn)

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