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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Country Legend Marty Stuart

Posted by Amoebite, November 22, 2017 03:53pm | Post a Comment

Marty Stuart What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

When country music legend Marty Stuart went record shopping at Amoeba Hollywood he couldn't help but run into himself. Whether he found records that he had played on, or records by people he had played with, Stuart found his visit to be a trip down memory lane. Playing professionally from a very early age, he had many an anecdote about the personal significance of each record chosen. Take, for example, The Fabulous Johnny Cash and Flatt and Scruggs' Greatest Hits, the first two records Stuart ever owned. "The crazy part about it," he says, "was the only two jobs that I ever had in my life was with Lester Flatt and Johnny Cash." Now that's something most of us can't claim.

Marty Stuart blends traditional country, rockabilly, and honky tonk sounds to create his own unique style. After teaching himself to play the guitar and mandolin at a young age, he began performing with the bluegrass group The Sullivan Family when he was just twelve-years-old. When he was thirteen, he signed on to perform with Lester Flatt, thanks to a meeting with Flatt's bandmate Roland White. Stuart went on to perform with Vassar Clements, Doc Watson, and Johnny Cash, whose backing band he joined in 1980. He left the band in 1985 to pursue a solo career, eventually signing with Columbia Records and releasing a self-titled debut that garnered him a Top 20 country single via the track "Arlene."

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Essential Records: Gene Vincent and The Blue Caps

Posted by Amoebite, August 8, 2016 03:58pm | Post a Comment

Gene Vincent and The Blue Caps - Amoeba Music

Call it a rough patch, call it a dry spell, call it whatever, but let's just say a while ago the relationship between my guitar and me got a little stale. Now of course I loved that thing dearly but, well, you know how it is: sometimes it just seems like the two of you are stuck in the same old routine. Now the electric guitar is a tricky instrument, there are so many variations, effects, and styles, and it's so overly saturated in the mainstream consciousness that while it can be the most primal and cathartic sounding of instruments, it can also be the most horrendous, self-involved sound known to modern man. At this particular juncture, I just wasn't hearing anything new that was compelling me towards the former sentiment. In an attempt to revive our relationship I pulled out this guitar magazine I had from high school that was all about rockabilly and the late '90s neo-swing revival. In it was a picture I always found striking but was never sure why: five young men all dressed in white, wearing dark, floppy caps. I thought to myself: it's finally time I really dug into Mr. Gene "Be-Bop-A-Lula" Vincent and His Blue Caps. I learned a couple of riffs out of the magazine, all attributed to Gene's original guitarist, Cliff Gallup, then I went to the record store and picked up their second album (thinking it was their first), Gene Vincent and The Blue Caps.

I put the needle on and right out of the gate the band is swaggering and in full swing. My toe's tappin', my hand's snappin' and my hair's getting greasier by the second. Gene finishes his first verse of "Red Bluejeans and a Ponytail" with the order to his band to "Rock!" and the next thing I know Cliff Gallup's guitar struts onto the scene and picks up the lead while someone lets out a banshee wail in the background. Gene comes back into the second verse, singing like he's crooning and panting at the same time, a cross between Dean Martin and that cartoon wolf from the droopy cartoons whose mouth drops to the floor at the sight of the cute redhead, and before I can finish that thought the second verse is ending and Gene calls out, "Rock again!" and Cliff's back with his plunky, shimmering, echo-y tone.

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Three Nights of Psychobilly Madness at the Klubfoot USA Festival, 3/15 - 3/17

Posted by Amoebite, March 7, 2013 10:33pm | Post a Comment

klubfoot usaWhat are you doing St. Patrick's Day weekend? Cancel it! You can't miss the Klubfoot USA Festival at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles, March 15th - 17th.

Six bands a night for three nights of pure Psychobilly madness from around the world!  With Mad Sin, The Klingonz, King Kurt, Frantic Flintstones, The Coffin Nails, Rezurex, Los Difuntos, the new Neo-Rockabilly band The Whammy (Tim Polecat with Slim Jim Phantom and Jonny Bowler), and so many more. 

This is an all-ages show!

Tickets are available at Amoeba Hollywood.

Here's some Coffin Nails to get you in the mood:
 

out this week 1/25 & 2/1...the party ain't over by wanda jackson!!!

Posted by Brad Schelden, February 4, 2011 02:32pm | Post a Comment
I have been excited about the new Wanda Jackson ever since I heard she was working with Jack White. I already loved her but I knew she could be even better with the help of Jack White! Jack White is, of course, from the White Stripes, who are now officially broken up. Not that Wanda really needed Jack White -- she was putting out some of the best rockabilly and country albums way before he was even born. She is the Queen of Rockabilly, after all! But I knew that he could be bring that greatness out of her once again. It had been a while. Jack White already helped Loretta Lynn make an amazing album a couple of years back, so we knew he could do it. Both Loretta Lynn and Wanda Jackson are two of my favorites! I obviously don't like anything new that comes out in the world of country but I have always loved the country music of the 50's and 60's. Wanda Jackson got her start back in back in the 50's, back when Rockabilly was very popular but there were not really a whole lot of women putting out rockabilly records. This is why she is known as the first woman of rockabilly. She paved the road for many who followed her. She later moved on to putting out more country albums and eventually gospel albums, but on this new album she is putting out the great rockabilly that made her famous. This is good stuff!

The new album is called The Party Ain't Over and was released last week. The gatefold vinyl version plays music when you open it, like those greeting cards that sing to you when you open them. I think this is amazing! Seriously. It plays music when you open it! I missed her shows she did a couple of weeks ago in Los Angeles but I did catch her on Conan last week and she is, of course, amazing (see video below). Jack White performed with her on stage and then they both sat down for a quick interview with Conan. I love the interaction between Jack White and Wanda -- sort of like a mother/son-type relationship. He teased her about her relationship with Elvis when Conan asked her about her early tour with Elvis. She dated Elvis Presley in 1955. Anyway, you really need this album in your life! It is one of my favorites of the year so far, and she even does a fantastic cover of "You Know I'm No Good" by Amy Winehouse. Wanda Jackson was featured briefly in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line but I think she really deserves her own movie. She has had an interesting life for sure and has influenced a ton of country and rockabilly artists over the years. Just check out any of the current rockabilly musicians and you can hear the influence. It is great to have Wanda Jackson back on the music scene. I think she didn't need Jack White and could have made a great album on her own, but he just stepped it up a bit. The two of them together is perfect. The album is perfect.

Check out Wanda Jackson performing "Hard Headed Woman" on Town Hall Party in 1958...

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out this week 6/29 & 7/6...thieves like us...scissor sisters...delphic...trash humpers...

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 9, 2010 11:55am | Post a Comment
It has been almost a year and a half since the release of the debut album by Thieves Like Us. I'm still in love with that first album, Play Music. It just doesn't get much better than that. Records tend to get overplayed and then you sort of move on and get over them. It might happen for some fans with just certain songs... you sort of wear them out and there is always a new song around the corner to catch your ear. But some songs never get old and you never tire of listening to them. There have been certain albums that I have liked so much but ended up taking an intentional break from -- I had to sort of cut them off because I knew I would wear them out! Itthieves like us play music is like too much of a good thing. Sometimes you have to take a break from your favorite things just to keep them your favorite things. Music is often like this for me. I really almost wore out the album by The Teenagers a couple of years ago. And I almost wore out my Thieves Like Us album. Luckily there have been some great albums this year to keep me busy! I am still not nearly done with the Wild Nothing album but I now listen to it about once a week instead of every day. I was so in love with Thieves Like Us last year that it ended up at the top of my favorite albums of 2009, so I was obviously excited about this new album that just came out this week. It did surprise me a bit a couple of weeks ago when I first heard that they had a new album coming out already -- I didn't know if I was ready yet. I really was not quite done with the first album -- but I quickly got myself ready. This involved listening to the first album one more time and then doing some cleansing. I had heard the new record was going to be a different type of album for them, which was good news. I didn't want the first album replicated or replaced. I was ready for a brand new album from one of my new favorite bands.

Much of my youth was spent exploring older albums by my favorites. I didn't start listening to The Smiths until after I had bought my first solo Morrissey album. It is always fun to go back and explore the older albums of your new favorite bands or artists because they usually get better when you go backwards in a discography. My first cassette by The Smiths was Louder Than Bombs. I then picked up a copy of Strangeways Here We Come. Then it was Queen Is Dead followed by Meat Is Murder and the self titled debut. I bought Rank on cassette I think next because I found it a a record store and realized it was the only album I didn't own by them. I think The Smiths were the first band that I owned the full catalog of on cassette -- at least everything that I could find at the record store. I of course later updated to CDs and LPs. The same thing happened with most of my other favorite bands. I think Blue Bell Knoll was my first Cocteau Twins album and Into the Labyrinth was my first Dead Can Dance album. Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me was my first album by The Cure. It just all depends how old you were when these albums first came out, how cool your older brothers or sisters or cousins were, what albums your best friends listened to, or even when your radio station decided to start playing certain bands. At this point in my life I have pretty much explored all the albums of the bands that I already like or am ever gonna like, but luckily I still do love new music, so it is exciting to find a new band that you can follow from the beginning. Sometimes though I wonder if it is better to go backwards. It does always seem like the albums get better when you go backwards. Early New Order is obviously better as you go backwards.

Bands like Thieves Like Us always get me thinking about this. I don't think Thieves Like Us will ever get as popular at The Smiths or New Order, but I can dream, can't I? I wonder what it will be like in 10 years when kids who are 5 years old now are just starting to really get into music. I think 14 or 15 was really the year I started getting really obsessed with music. Will they start listening to these bands that are new now? When they are onto their 10th album? And then will they go backwards and explore the older discographies like I did when I was 15 and 16? I hope so.

This new Thieves Like Us album is called Again & Again. You can listen to the whole album right here or just go ahead and buy it from Amoeba.com. I guarantee you it is that good! It's dancey and synthy but dark and melancholic as well. Imagine a mix of all your favorite bands -- bits of New Order and Pet Shop Boys mixed up with bands like The Smiths and Legendary Pink Dots and Galaxie 500. Like a more intense version of the Reality Check album by The Teenagers, which, by the way, is still one of my favorites that I keep going back to. I am still patiently awaiting the second album from the Teenagers. Come on, guys. Really -- I need this album to come out! Again and Again is probably not as fun as the first one and it seems a bit darker. There may have been some relationship breakups involved in the songwriting or maybe just some reflection on past relationships. Regardless, I love the album. A great listen for these early gloomy days of summer.


Buy the new album Again and Again by Thieves Like Us

Buy the debut album Play Music by Thieves Like Us. You should probably start with this album if you have not already. But as I said before, it is usually better to go backwards.


I also highly recommend a recent addition to the Amoeba store and to our website store -- the new compilation of LA rockabilly from the fantastic label Wild Records! It is called The Young Breed Vol. 2. and includes tracks from Gizzelle, Santos, Pachuca Jose, and the Delta Bombers. I have always known that LA loves its rockabilly, and I knew there was a whole new group of bands out there exploring the roots of rockabilly and creating their whole new sound, I just had not yet explored it myself. This compilation is a great place to start. You can then go explore the whole word of albums and 7"s that the label has put out. We now carry the entire Wild Records catalog in the Rockabilly section of the Hollywood Amoeba! The packaging from this label is fantastic. Each album is like a little piece of art. The albums looks old and vintage and the songs themselves sound like they come from a different time and place. This is good stuff! It sounds like the 50's country and rockabilly and simultaneously sounds like 1970's punk rock and garage music. It will make you happy to be alive and happy to know there are bands like this out there. You can check out some of the music right here, or just trust me and pick up the album from Amoeba!


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