Amoeblog

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Kid Koala

Posted by Amoebite, September 4, 2019 03:17pm | Post a Comment

Kid Koala - What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

DJ extraordinaire Kid Koala stopped by Amoeba San Francisco recently for a fun, eclectic and educational What's In My Bag? interview. The Canadian producer and composer went digging for sound effects records, classic hip hop cassettes, and some killer jazz finds, like Thelonious Monk's Thelonious Alone In San Francisco. "I'm alone in San Francisco," he joked. Noting that the jazz pianist is a hero of his, Kid Koala described how "you can listen to less than one bar of any of his recordings and know immediately it was him. That's how much style he had on the piano. I love the fact that he's playing like a centuries old instrument, with all this history, and he came and just reinvented everything on it."

Eric San is the force behind Kid Koala, best known for his work as a music producer, DJ, and composer. He is also the author of graphic novels Nufonia Must Fall and Space Cadet, and the creator of their Kid Koala - music to draw to : io - Amoeba Musicaccompanying soundtrack albums. San's musical career began while he attended McGill University in Montreal; immersed in the turntablism scene, he passed out an early demo called Scratchcratchratchatch to fellow students. In 2000, he released his first album, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, for which he designed and illustrated the cover, as well as a comic book included within the liner notes. In support of the LP, he set out on a lengthy tour, opening at times for Radiohead and Bjork. That same year, Kid Koala teamed up with Del the Funky Homosapien and Dan the Automator for their Deltron 3030 project; their eponymous debut was released in spring 2000.

Continue reading...

Top Ten Tape Things (Cassette Store Day 2015 list)

Posted by Billyjam, October 17, 2015 02:56pm | Post a Comment

cas·sette k??set/ noun:  a sealed plastic unit containing a length of audiotape, videotape,
film, etc. wound on a pair of spools, for insertion into a recorder or playback device.
 

Saturday, October 17th: Today iofficially being Cassette Store Day 2015, during which you'll find lots of cassette tape goodies (new, old, reissues) available at Amoeba Music and other participating music retail stores, I could not help but reminisce over that beloved analog format that was once many people's primary source of music listening and sharing. So, off the top of my head, I randomly compiled the following top ten tape things list, encompassing both good and bad things. Meantime be sure to stop into Amoeba Music today, where it is also Super Saturday Sale day, and peep some of the cassettes available including (at Amoeba SF) Jaylib's Champion Sound and Peanut Butter Wolf & Dam-Funk's 45 Minutes Of Funk. Cassette Store Day aside, on any given day the cassette section of Amoeba is well worth a visit as noted in this previous Amoeblog I did after a most rewarding visit to the Amoeba Berkeley store's cassette section.

Continue reading...

Cassette Store Day at Amoeba on Saturday, Oct. 17

Posted by Amoebite, October 14, 2015 04:51pm | Post a Comment

Cassette Store Day

Satuday, Oct. 17, is the day to be at Amoeba. First off, it’s our Super Saturday Sale at all three stores, where we’ll have 20% off all turntables, posters, T-shirts, books, headphones and mugs. And it’s also Cassette Store Day, where we’ll have a number of albums reissued to cassette.

Cassette Store Day is an internationally observed record store holiday much like Record Store Day. It started in the United Kingdom in 2013 to acknowledge the importance of the medium and has seen exclusive releases in the past from Deerhunter, The Flaming Lips and many others.

Below are this year’s cassettes that we’ll have in stock at Amoeba Hollywood on Saturday. Amoeba SF and Berkeley will also carry CSD tapes as well. And if you can’t make it out on Saturday, the leftovers will be made available on Amoeba.com the next day!

Alex G - Beach Music Keep Shelly In Athens - Now I'm Ready
Beach Slang - Here, I Made This For You Method Man - The Meth Lab 
Berlin Brats - Zeitgeis Motorhead - Bad Magic
Bratmobile - Pottymouth Muse - Drones
Car Seat Headrest - Teens Of Style Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Broom
Down - Down III: Over The Under STRFKR - Reptilians
Down - Down IV Part I Surfer Blood - Astro Coast
Down - Down IV Part II T.S.O.L. - Beneath The Shadows
Expert Alterations - You Can't Always Be Liked Twin Compulsions - Twin Compulsions
Foals - What Went Down Robert Tomaro - Slime City [OST]
Free Kitten - Sentimental Education Various Artists - BIPPP: French Synth Wave 1979-85
Girl Band - Holding Hands With Jamie Chris Walla - Tape Loops
Green Day - Dookie The Wonderland Philharmonic - Shogun Assassin
   
Here's what we'll have at Amoeba SF:  
Jaylib - Champion Sound
Peanut Butter Wolf & Dam-Funk 45 Minutes Of Funk
 
Jaylib - Champion Sound Remixes Sebadoh - KCRTroubleyou
Quasimoto - Further Various Artists - Counterfeit Blanks: 25 Years of Shrimper

Cassette Store Day

Continue reading...

Reissue Report: Metallica Reissues Early Demo Tape 'No Life 'Til Leather'

Posted by Billy Gil, March 3, 2015 01:38pm | Post a Comment

metallica no life til leather tapeAs Record Store Day looms on April 18, reports of what to expect should start trickling in, along with the official announce of RSD titles next Tuesday March 10 at Rough Trade in New York.

Metallica has announced they’ll reissue their debut demo tape from 1982, No Life ‘Til Leather, as a limited edition cassette April 18. Expanded CD and LP editions will come in the summer, the band told Rolling Stone.

No Life ‘Til Leather saw Metallica in their early incarnation of singer/guitarist James Hetfield, lead guitarist Dave Mustaine (who would go on to play in Megadeth), bassist Ron McGovney and drummer Lars Ulrich. Just one song from the tape, “The Mechanix,” didn’t make it to their debut LP, Kill 'Em All, and the tape maintained its cache as an underground tape traded amongst metal fans. The expanded versions will contain more demos from the era, but there’s no word yet on which tracks those will be.

Metallica also has more reissues planned, as the band owns its own remasters and runs its own label now, Blackened Recordings.

Hear the original version of “The Mechanix” below:

Happy Cassette Store Day

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 7, 2013 12:52pm | Post a Comment

Cassette Store Day merchandise available here

First there was Record Store Day which began in 2008. Now, 2013 brings the first Cassette Store Day (7 September). Stores across Europe, North America, Oceania, and South America are on board with the latest celebration of a format that most consider obsolete. There are events taking place and totes and Ts (natch) commemorating the day are for sale. Although it’s not called Audio Cassette Store Day, that seems to be what it more properly is (sorry valorizers of Betamax and VHS). It's also Cassette Store Day, not merely Cassette Day -- is there such thing as a store that exclusively sells tapes? Even Tape World carried CDs and records.


Image source: Pimp Your Kitchen

A part of me winces at what seems at first like a twee joke. Does anyone genuinely prefer the sound of music on cassette or is this just nostalgia or worse -- obsoletism? Back in 1994, after I heard that Pearl Jam had released a song titled “Spin the Black Circle” my immediate reaction was to pen a song -- “Turn the Wax Cylinder" -- and vinyl is genuinely and justly still loved. It just struck me as this sort of luddite snobbery -- which Mr. Show hilariously skewered with one of their best skits -- “The Last Donut”  -- in which an insufferable prick scoffs at CDs and states that he only listens to music on a “Mini Victrola.” In other words, it all seems a bit Portlandish. What’s next, festivities memorializing piano rolls, 78s, reel-to-reel, or 8-tracks?
Quiet Doing Cassette Wallet Cassette iPod case
A couple of Quiet Doing's (canvas and vinyl) cassette motif products 

Then again, there was a time in the CD era when cassettes seemed like a DIY/punk alternative to the corporate CD world. The 1980s saw the rise of Cassette Culture and even in the 1990s several primarily (and in some cases exclusively) tape-friendly labels arose (especially in the Pacific Northwest) like Apraxia Music Research, Brown Interior Music, Burger Records, E.F. Tapes & CD-Rs, From the Wheelchair to the Pulpit, Gnar Tapes, Happiest Tapes on Earth, K Records, and Ladd-Frith.

What's more there were also countless bands who since the audio cassette's introduction recorded tape-only albums -- and not just hopelessly obscure ones; the celebrated Triffids never bothered to release their first seven albums on any other format. Finally, long after tape decks disappeared from most homes, a lot of people I know held on to their tapes because their cars had (or have) cassette decks.


Cassette Stall - source: Warren Hill

Though I shun pretentiousness, I am highly susceptible to nostalgia and I do have some fond tape-centric memories. As a kid I used to tape the radio (usually KCOU) and then dub the songs I liked onto a second tape (using my brother’s boom box). I also used to hold a tape recorder up to the TV to record great themes like those for Miami Vice and Perry Mason. I remember the first tape that I bought (Peter Gabriel’s So) and even my first dub (The Queen is Dead, Happy? and most of Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me onto one tape). Tapes were fragile and when my brother was angry at me he tore my copy of Beelzebubba. However, for those motivated to, cassettes could and can easily be repaired with a bit of tape, some scissors and maybe a small screwdriver.  Try doing that with a destroyed CD or vinyl record! I even remember being sassed by a classmate who, after I asked her to repeat herself barked, "I didn't mutter, utter, or stutter! I'm not a tape! I don't rewind!" 





When CDs came along and cassette values plummeted, they allowed me (and presumably others) to take a chance on bands or records that I hadn't heard for a cheap price. I remember picking up two Severed Heads albums, a Steve Kilbey solo record, and two Wire cassettes – all for a quarter each – at a Camelot Music. In the pre-Shazam era, finding unlabeled dubs could introduce the listener to a mysterious collection of songs and figuring out who the artist(s) were amounted to a life-changing quest. When tapes became even less valuable they were frequently discarded by stores and I’d tape over the two square-shaped holes on top and make mix-tapes (usually based around a genre or mood) on them -- goodbye Bobby Brown hello mix of cowboy music. Personally, I think a laboriously-constructed mix-tape (hopefully with nice packaging) was one of the greatest gifts that one could give or receive. 

Cassette stall in Badung, Indonesia - image source: Jacqueline Chang's Life as a Hairdresser

Tapes were never my favorite format and though their technical merits were relatively few, there is a bit more to their appreciation than just nostalgia and obsoletism. In the developing world they never really went away (which is perhaps why Cassette Store Day seems to be either going unnoticed or happening everyday in Africa and Asia). If it weren't for cassettes, a lot of great music would be lost and to me that's what makes tapes most valuable -- by some estimates, 50% of recorded music has never been released on CD. Roughly 1% of all recorded music is available on iTunes. Far less than 1% is available on Pandora or Spotify. When a teenage neighbor of mine bought a wallet with a cassette design, I asked her if she know what it was or if she simply thought it looked cool and she surprised my (given this BBC piece) by knowing what it was an elaborating that many luk thung (ลูกทุ่ง) recordings circulate between her parents and their friends.


Still from John Smith and Graeme Miller's Lost Sound

Finally, there is perhaps no more poetic evocation of the charms of cassettes than experimental filmmaker John Smith's Lost Sound (collaboration with Graeme Miller – 1998-2001, 28 mins. Color. Sound. Video).  It consists of shots of discarded bits of tapes found around East London and played accompanied by their recovered audio.

So dust off those tapes, try to find a tape player, and have a Happy Cassette Store Day.

*****

<<  1  2  >>  NEXT