Currently On Tour With Rodriguez, LP Readies To Drop Her New Album "Forever For Now"

Posted by Billyjam, May 27, 2014 10:08pm | Post a Comment

LP's "Forever For Now" - to arrive in Amoeba June 3rd - will the artist's third full-length release

As she prepares to drop her brand new album Forever For Now (Warner Brothers) next week New York singer/songwriter LP (not to be confused with NYC hip-hop artist El-P) is keeping quite busy doing back to back concerts on tour as opener for Rodriguez. Tonight and tomorrow (May 27 & 28th) she plays The Warfield in San Francisco, and on Friday and Saturday (May 30th & 31st) she plays the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles - all on bills with Rodriguez. Then next Tuesday, the date her album drops and in celebration of its release she headlines LA's Sayers Club.  While many only first heard LP in 2011 thanks to her uplifting song "Into the Wild" being chosen as the soundtrack to a national TV commercial for CitiBank (available from Warner at the same name and again included on this new album) the artist had been around for a lot longer than that. Back in 2001 The self-described "working class approach" to music-making artist released her debut album, Heart-Shaped Scar. That first LP album was produced by David Lowery who three years earlier featured her on his band Cracker's album Gentleman's Blues on Virgin. Since then she toured and performed a lot, released a second album in 2004 (Suburban Sprawl & Alcohol) but somehow, despite critical acclaim, never got the level of commercial success she deserved.  She then shifted her career slightly when, in addition to writing and recording her own material, she also began avidly writing and co-writing for other artists including Rihanna, and Christina Aguilera. Then in 2012 she released the 6 song (five live tracks) EP Into the Wild (Live at EastWest Studios), which was reissued on vinyl for last year's Record Store Day (long out of print). Her new album Forever For Now , with the lead single "Night Like This" that drops next week, will feature guest spots from such artists as Isabella "Machine" Summers from Florence + the Machine, and looks set to gain the artist the level of attention that she has long deserved.

Amoeba Co-Hosts Screening for Rodriguez Documentary ‘Searching For Sugar Man’

Posted by Billy Gil, July 13, 2012 12:28pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba, Sony Pictures Classics and The Los Angeles Film School are teaming to host an advance screening of the critically acclaimed documentary Searching for Sugar Man, about elusive ’70s rocker Rodriguez, on July 24 at 8 p.m. You can get tickets July 24 at Amoeba Hollywood to attend the LA Film School screening, as well as pick up the soundtrack (preorder here), which comes out July 24, featuring Rodriguez cuts like “Inner City Blues” and “Sugar Man.” Sony Pictures Classics will release the film at the Landmark Theaters in Los Angeles this Friday, July 27th. Check out the film’s official Twitter and Facebook pages to receive additional movie release information.”
Sixto Diaz Rodriguez (so named because he was the sixth child in the family) was the son of middle-class Mexican immigrants, born in Detroit in 1942. His music, which sounds a bit like Donovan with Cesar Chavez’s politics and psych touches, first was released in 1967 with the single “I’ll Slip Away” on small label Impact. From there, he released two albums on Sussex, Cold Fact (1970) and Coming from Reality (1971).  

Though he didn’t make a huge splash in the U.S. and stopped releasing music once Sussex folded in 1975, his music gained fame in places like South Africa and Australia. With renewed buzz, he toured Australia in 1979 and again in 1981 with Midnight Oil. After fading once again into obscurity, the new millennium brought increasing notoriety. In 2002 DJ David Holmes placed his song “Sugar Man” on the mix album Come Get It I Got It, and “Sugar Man” was sampled in the Nas song “You’re Da Man,” from Stillmatic (2001). “Sugar Man” also appeared in the 2006 addiction drama Candy, with Heath Ledger, Abby Cornish and Geoffrey Rush. He ventured once again to Australia in 2007 to play a few shows. He has seen recent covers from singer-songwriter Ruarri Joseph and South African band Just Jinger. And his two studio albums were re-released by Light in the Attic Records in 2009.

The film tells of two South Africans who set out to find their musical hero, whom some over the years believed had died or committed suicide. The film, from director Malik Bendjelloul, at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival won the Audience Award and Special Jury Prize and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize, all in the World Cinema – Documentary category. Searching For Sugar Man also recently won the Audience Award at the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival in the Best International Feature category. And Bendjelloul also got 2nd place in the Audience Award – Documentary category at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival.

Rodriguez - I Wonder recorded live at Amoeba San Francisco.

What I Listened to Most in 2008

Posted by Miss Ess, January 1, 2009 04:23pm | Post a Comment
Since I write about what I listen to fairly often, this list may be a bit redundant, but consider it a happy round up! This is what was getting to me the most in 2008, whether it was released in 2008 or 1974, whether I'd heard it a zillion times before or it was something new to my ears.

Rodriguez - Cold Fact

Bonnie Prince Billy - Lie Down in the Light

Bobby Charles - s/t

Sun Kil Moon - "Glenn Tipton" from Ghosts of the Great Highway

Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers - "Islands in the Stream"

Continue reading...

A Year in the Life of Amoeba San Francisco

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 30, 2008 07:18pm | Post a Comment
It's been yet another eventful year here at Amoeba San Francisco, our 11th here on Haight Street! Below is a sort of best-of, a bunch of the highlights from the year for us, from instores to holiday events-- read on to celebrate the end of 2008 with us!

Going back to January 2008, we kicked off the new year with a groovy instore from Devendra Banhart.

devendra banhart at amoeba

January also saw the second annual Amoeba Art Show, held at the Space Gallery here in San Francisco. Many of Amoeba's employees, you see, are also fantastic artists, and so a huge gathering of pieces created by said employees from both the Berkeley and San Francisco Amoeba stores was shown, and the event also included some music, drinking and general hobnobbing. The art below was created by Amoeba Berkeley's Zak Wilson. More info about the event can be found here.

Then, in February, Vampire Weekend hit the stage for a HUGE and thrilling performance. You can go right here for a review and all the photos from that show.

Rodriguez' Cold Fact

Posted by Miss Ess, August 28, 2008 12:13pm | Post a Comment
In 1970, Detroit native Rodriguez released his auspicious debut album, Cold Fact. It failed in the charts. His follow up album fared even worse, and he was subsequently dropped from his label, his music doomed to obscurity.

Luckily for us, reissue label Light in the Attic has recently re-released Cold Fact, and it is a fantastic surprise, a cohesive, shrewd and confident record. Oh, and it sounds effing great too! The album is awash in late 60s-era production touches, along with Forever Changes-like horns and overall orchestration that add to the complexity of the songs. Rodriguez' vocals are plaintive and his delivery style somewhat Dylanesque, although I think his voice is much more consistent than Dylan's. A few of my coworkers have said the album sounds much like Donovan, but I think it sounds much, much smarter than any Donovan record. The songs are clear eyed views of poverty, city life, sex, drugs and rock n roll-- views of the muddled '60s. I love how in the album's second song, "Only Good For Conversation," he calls a woman out as "the coldest bitch I know" by the second line! I think the album is pretty bold for 1970. It also still sounds fresh to these ears, even today.

Rodriguez was born Sixto Diaz Rodriguez in 1940s Detroit to Mexican immigrant parents. He was discovered playing guitar in bars by Dennis Coffey and Mike Theodore. Coffey was a member of the Funk Brothers, the incredible crew of musicians that had played on countless Motown Hits. The two signed Rodriguez to the Sussex label, where he would record his two albums before being dropped. The label folded a few years later.

Over time, Rodriguez languished in construction, not knowing that his popularity was growing exponentially over the decades, first in Australia and New Zealand, and then in South Africa, due to radio play and word of mouth. In the late 70s he was alerted to his acclaim in Australia, and he toured there. Then, in 1998, his daughter discovered a web page plastered with photos. The page was based in South Africa and had been set up to find Rodriguez, milk-carton style. Through the site, she learned that there were multiple rumors of his death, that he was a star in South Africa and that his records' popularity had mushroomed there for ages, particularly after their release on cd in 1991. Rodriguez finally traveled to South Africa and was embraced by young and old alike on his various tours there.

Here's hoping that now he catches on here in the U.S as well and tours here! The album is one of the best things I have heard in ages. It's truly a nearly-forgotten gem, one where every track is not just solid, but fantastic. Rodriguez lives in the Oldies section her