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17 Releases to Look for on Record Store Day

Posted by Amoebite, April 10, 2018 06:27pm | Post a Comment

17 Record Store Day Releases to Look For

It's wish list time! The good people behind Record Store Day have outdone themselves this year, with a bumper crop of limited edition, long out of print, colored vinyl, and just plain cool exclusives hitting our shelves on Saturday, April 21st. Old favorites receive a celebratory nod. Unreleased tracks by classic acts will be unleashed upon the world. Impressive new works shine in the RSD spotlight. There's something for everyone, whether your interests lean towards classic R&B, dreamy indie, psychedelic tropicalia, and everything in between. Read on to discover the new releases we're excited about this Record Store Day.

Mark your calendars: RSD happens April 21, 2018. Watch this space for info to come on the most exciting store happenings, sales, and special events taking places across all three of our stores in honor of the indie record store industry's biggest day.

Aaliyah Back & Forth

Aaliyah - Back & Forth (12") 

This reissue of Aaliyah's debut single is out on opaque purple vinyl, featuring the original version as well as five dance mixes. An RSD exclusive release.

Arcade Fire Arcade Fire Record Store Day

Arcade FireArcade Fire EP (LP)

Outside Lands 2017 Preview / Top 20 Acts: ATCQ, Dr Octagon, Metallica, Gorillaz, Lorde, Thundercat, The Who, Action Bronson + more

Posted by Billyjam, August 11, 2017 11:53am | Post a Comment
Props to the folks behind Outside Lands, the cool diverse long running independent music festival that takes place in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park every summer (which means weather might be sunny or foggy) and that this year marks its tenth successful year.

Outside Lands has become the largest independent music festival in the country. And for this year's 10th anniversary that begins today and ends Sunday (August 11 - 13), festival bookers have curated a refreshingly diverse bill that as well as all the big name acts includes up-and-coming bands, an Epic Rap Battle, breaks B-boy/DJ event,  DJs (inc. Josh Wink and Jazzy Jeff), stand-up and spoken word (inc. Nick Kroll and Henry Rollins) all the while covering many different popular musical genres.

Too many amazing acts to focus on them all in one  Amoeblog but take a look at the flyer left to see most of them listed. Note that, due to injury, that Queens of the Stone Age have cancelled their listed appearance this weekend. [EDIT UPDATE  Saturday announced that A Tribe Called Quest, who had already been postponed by one day, have been cancelled]  Also check out the Outside Lands website for more details and help in planning who to see and when. Generally speaking today is predominantly more beat driven acts while tomorrow/Saturday is more hard rock acts overall. Then Sunday offers more of a mish mash of genres.  Below I have put together a list of 20 of the acts (with videos and days/times of each act) that are worth catching. A subjective list from the perspective of a hip-hop fan foremost, it admittedly only scratches the surface and omits many great acts. But it gives an idea of the wealth of talent to expect this weekend at Outside Lands, as well as a rough guide to planning who to see on what stage over the 3 day festival weekend.

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Watch The Lemon Twigs Perform Live at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Amoebite, November 12, 2016 01:50pm | Post a Comment

The Lemon Twigs Live at Amoeba Hollywood

Long Island's The Lemon Twigs burned up the Amoeba Hollywood stage with their virtuosic blend of classic rock and baroque pop. The brainchild of brothers Brian and Michael D'Addario, the band's debut album, Do Hollywood (co-produced by Foxygen's Jonathan Rado) hit our shelves in October. Along with band members Danny Ayala and Megan Zeankowski, the brothers are currently finishing up a U.S. tour and getting ready to hit Europe later this November. 

Lemon Twigs Do HollywoodFirst up in the video is "Haroomata," a manic track alternating between a longing ballad and a demonic country picker. Next, is the band's first single from Do Hollywood, "These Words." With touches of Harry Nilsson, Wings, and The Mothers Of Invention, the song is a showcase of their various influences and musical chops. Michael D'Addario channeled both The Who's Keith Moon and Pete Townshend, alternating between drums and guitar in a boiler suit and flailing about like the iconic rockers. "As Long As We're Together" is an anthem worthy of an arena, and set closer "Queen Of My Soul" is a rollicking rocker which the bands plays with furious energy.

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10 Most Essential Mod Albums

Posted by Amoebite, April 22, 2016 10:52am | Post a Comment

10 Essential Mod Albums

For our list of the 10 Most Essential Mod Albums, we went to one of the scene's experts: DJ Penny Lane. She has been hosting the longest running mod radio show (aka "mod cast") for eleven years, with a playlist dedicated to the eternally cool 1960s British music scene inspired by the then-new sounds of R&B, soul, ska, rock, and jazz. Her show, Punks in Parkas, is featured on UMFM radio (101.5 FM) out of Winnipeg, Canada every Thursday night at 9pm. UMFM is a campus and community radio station run by students and volunteers from the University of Manitoba and community members from around Winnipeg.

Penny Lane's show features the best in the national and international mod scene; she plays great artists from the 1960s to current artists who are keeping the scene alive. She invites all kinds of guest DJs in studio and was the first to feature many new music acts as well. She does it all -- from hosting the show to creating the playlist and designing amazing promotional material. To learn more, you can also check out Penny's blog and her show listing on the UMFM website. Read on for Penny's take on the mod albums every record collection needs.

The Who - My Generation

1. The WhoMy Generation (1965)

One album wonders: John's Children's Orgasm

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 3, 2014 10:20am | Post a Comment
 JOHN'S CHILDREN - ORGASM (recorded 1967, released 1971) 


Today the band John's Children, when remembered at all, are best remembered for two things: one, for having briefly included within their ranks a pre-T. Rex Marc Bolan and two, for their calculatedly outrageousness and provocative live performances. Both overshadow the fact that they also made some quite enjoyable music, including a sole LP recorded before Bolan joined but released long after he'd left.


*****


The story of John's Children begins in 1965 in Great Bookham, where drummer Chris Townson, guitarist Geoff McClelland, harmonica-player Andy Ellison, and singer Louis Grooner played in a band called The Clockwork Onions. With changing times and line-ups came changing names and The Clockwork Onions became The Few. After the departure of keyboardist Chris Dawsett The Few became The Silence, who were Andy Ellison, Chris Townson, Geoff McClelland, and John Hewlett. The Silence were described by Yardbirds manager Simon Napier-Bell as “positively the worst group I'd ever seen” and not surprisingly he insisted on becoming their manager. 


Napier-Bell changed The Silence's name to John's Children. The band -- actually a group of session musicians -- recorded John's Children's first single, “The Love I Thought I'd Found” b/w “Strange Affair," which was released in 1966. The original title of the A-side was "Smashed Blocked" but a name change was necessitated at home because it was deemed offensive. Far from Surrey the single found a receptive audience (where it was released with its original name) in Florida and California -- two American states both known for their production and appreciation of weird, unpolished garage rock



In 1967, John's Children released their second single, “Just What You Want – Just What You'll Get” b/w “But You're Mine” was also recorded by session musicians -- something which was back then still somewhat common practice even for bands composed of technically talented but commercially unproven instrumentalists.  The single fared better than its predecessor and after the release of a "lost" third single, “Not the Sort of Girl (You'd Like to Take to Bed),” their American label, White Whale Records, requested a full-length album.

John's Children recorded Orgasm. The album kicks off with the shrill screams of young female fans. After someone pleads with the audience to stop screaming, which doesn't stop them, the band launch into "Killer Ben," which only elicits louder screaming. The album was, in fact, recorded in a studio and the audience screams were nicked from the soundtrack to The BeatlesHard Day’s Night. Toward the end of "You're a Nothing," it sounds like additional crowd noise has been lifted from a football match.

Just how the Daughters of the American Revolution heard about the planned release of such an obscure album isn't clear to me but they apparently delayed Orgasm's release until 1970. You have to wonder if it wasn't all part of another publicity stunt. Orgasm has been re-released multiple times sense, by multiple labels, on multiple formats and often bookended by additional material. 



Shortly after the Orgasm was shelved, in March of 1967, a young Marc Bolan replaced McClelland. Bolan had approached Napier-Bell in 1965, informing him that he was going to be a star but needed proper assistance. After recording some unreleased demos in 1966, rather than plug him into The Yardbirds, Napier-Bell stuck Bolan into his other band and Bolan wrote John's Children's next single, 
"Desdemona" b/w "Remember Thomas A Becket" which was banned from the airwaves for the A-side's shocking lyric, “Lift up your skirt and fly.”




John’s Children opened for The Who on their 1967 tour of Germany until they were kicked off, apparently for upstaging the headliners. Four months after joining, Bolan split quit John's Children and formed Tyrannosaurus Rex. The rest of the band soldiered on without him, recording several Bolan compositions before returning to Germany and ultimately disbanding in 1968.

The story didn't really end there, however, and Ellison and Townson next joined David O'List (formerly of The AttackThe NiceThe Misunderstood, and Roxy Music), Martin GordonPeter Oxendale, and Trevor White (who'd played in the power-pop band, The Jook, with Townson) in another one-album-wonder, Jet, who released a rather nice Sparks-ish record (titled Jet) in 1975. After Jet, Ellison, Gordon, and White went on to play in the new wave band, Radio Stars.

In the 1990s, a new line-up of John’s Children reformed with Gordon on bass and longtime Morrissey collaborator Boz Boorer on guitar. In 2001 this line-up performed at the Steve Marriott Memorial Event. A line-up of Ellison, Hewlett, Townson, and White began performing in 2006 and ended in 2008, when Townson died. 

For the John's Children fan, obtaining Orgasm is understandably the primary goal. However, of the several compilations available, Cherry Red's two-disc anthology, A Strange Affair: The Sixties Anthology, is the most comprehensive.

*****

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