Amoeba San Francisco's Record Store Day 2011

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 19, 2011 09:09am | Post a Comment

by Sally
Davey Havoc pic by Audra, all other pics by Kaitlin.

record store day 2011 amoeba

Every year Record Store Day just gets bigger and bigger, and the craziness grows! Here in SF before we opened the line was INSANE outside our doors and the first person in line had been there since 6am! That's some dedication! Even more astounding, customers were calling Friday night and asking if they could camp out for prime spots on the big day!

record store day 2011

At 10:30am on the button, the doors were opened and people swarmed into the treasure-laden vinyl aisles of Amoeba SF. There were hoardes of people packing the rows and surrounding the 7"s. Watch an awesome video below shot by Audra of the line and the vibe before the doors were flung open!

Continue reading...

Peep My Record Store Day Hotlist: Snatch These Jams!

Posted by Kells, April 15, 2011 02:25pm | Post a Comment
Ahoy, mateys! Record Store Day is coming up quick on the horizon and once again the anticipation is incredible. Oh, if you could only scope the booty we've got stowed in the hold for this Saturday, a truly beautiful (and impressively hulking) bounty of vinyl treasures ripe for a-plundering. While I'm still taking it all in, here's a short list of what I've got locked in my sights for the big day tomorrow:

Os Mutantes - Everything is Possible: World Psych Classics Vol. 1 (LP)
This "best of" is a must have! I've been rocking this release on CD for years and I am just so excited to be able to finally get my paws on a deluxe vinyl edish for my collection. This is my absolute número um Record Store Day pick!

Os Mutantes - "Bat Macumba"

(*also, Luaka Bop's second volume in their World Psychedelic Classics series will also be available as a limited RSD LP -- Shuggie Otis' Inspiration Information, don't miss!)

 OFF! - Live at Generation Records NYC Oct. 22, 2010 (7")

 OFF! - "Crawl"/"Rat Trap" live at Generation Records NYC 10/22/10

This four song live jam is probably on a lot of RSD wish lists, and rightly so. This rules and there aren't very many, so maybe, just maybe, this is the one thing really worth rolling outta bed early on a Saturday morning for. I cam pretty much guarantee it's gonna make your Saturday night.

And if that doesn't do it for you, perhaps this will: Kate Bush - Hounds of Love (10")

That's right, kids --- ten inches of pink wax with four remastered tracks from Kate Bush's Hounds of Love. This has to be this year's Record Store Day's most epically swoon-worthy release, limited to just 1,000 copies. So what if you can't get your hand in the fray for the Nirvana Hormoaning seven inch (only 300 copies? really?) or if you can't justify breaking the bank for them Flaming Lips' vinyl box sets --- this sweet baby beckons like a siren from the deep. Give in!

Lastly, I have to say that I kinda want to snatch the Daft Punk Tron ten inch picture disc, if for no other reason than tape it to the back of my pretend "grid-suit." Have a happy and safe Record Store Day y'all, hope to see you in the store and click here to find out all the happenings at the Amoebas!

All That Biodigital Jazz, Man

Posted by Kells, December 30, 2010 10:55am | Post a Comment

I remember the first time I caught sight of the glowing, blacklit neon appeal of TRON. The boxy upright console outshone the others in my hometown Putt-Putt arcade and I couldn't help desiring to bask in its purple hazed portal though I'd always considered Centipede to be my one and only love. Let's be honest, playing TRON was about as exciting as the saccharin in a can of Tab, no matter how romanced I was by that Starlight Express meets Pinball Wizard of a design story. It's a silly game popularized a silly movie and it seems the good folks down at Disney completely understand that. TRON may never be taken seriously for its dramatic narrative and that's exactly right-on, but it is bursting with cinematic content. For me, re-viewing the 1982 classic TRON flick and the recently reimagineered TRON: Legacy was pure pop Sci-Fi pleasure the likes of which anyone this side of the Logan's Run Carousel knows better than to over-analyze.

Anyway, what better way to punctuate sweet freedom of another semester completed and celebrate the spirit of the season than seeing TRON: Legacy in IMAX 3D over Christmas vacation? Disney's new take on the ambitious yet sketchy Rotoscoped, post modern, science-fantasy arcade-gaming jam delivers a not very smart but sometimes clever cross-section of tired sci-fi/fantasy genre clichés, slickly redesigned to diamond-cut, mind-blowing visual perfection, ever flying the promotional gaming flag and still driven (literally!) by a pre-Lebowski albeit CG'd Jeff Bridges (which raises questions about the ethical treatment of dead actors' imminent bodies of possible future work) as well as the more popular (and less obviously plasti-complexioned) post "Dude" Jeff Bridges. Aesthetically, TRON went from this: 
to this:

...clunky helmet no longer required. I really love the visual shift in the application of a primary color scheme from TRON's UV tinged, patent eighties neons to the updated laser red, tungsten yellow and halogen blue as they appear both on and off their respective renderings of "the grid," not to mention the thrilling, hi-tech hard edge TRON: Legacy has over the crappy vectorgraphic "effects" dealt by its predecessor. However, TRON: Legacy does manage to shovel its fair share of shit: what's with that queeny Castor character and his, or should I say HER, swishy hardly-head-of-security counterpart? Accommodating the Brits-as-villains Star Wars stereotype much? Castor's little ditty and dance act should be cast out. And how about all that easy, cheesy dialogue? I swear some of those lines were straight up lifted from the Matrix --- is that why this film wasn't made ten years ago? And while I'm not buying so much the Neo/Jesus/Skywalker/Solo vibe of Kevin Flynn's son (played by Garrett Hedlund), Sam, I am totally vibing on Jeff Bridges' Obi Wan/God/Gandalf "zen thing" update of his completely timelapsed character, under the influence of a heavy dose of his Dudeness (Duder, or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing). I mean, really, if Bridges hadn't had his prior engagement with the brothers Coen, TRON: Legacy would probably only have its visual wizardry going for it and zero characters for folks like me to latch on to. Besides, I was more than ready to settle in and enjoy the ride after that opening sequence: Bridges' voice, speaking over Daft Punk's excellent score of electronic minimalism meets classical orchestration --- incorporating Wendy Carlos' original TRON soundtrack in a fitting homage --- urging us to think of a time when computers seemed more magical than mechanical and menacing, the inevitability of A.I. more a willing dream than nightmarish catastrophe. "The Grid," he recalls: "A digital frontier. I tried to picture clusters of information as they move through the computer. What did they look like? Ships? Motorcycles? Were the circuits like freeways? I kept dreaming of a world I thought I’d never see. And then, one day, I got in."

In short, the good parts of TRON: Legacy are really
good and they mostly make up for any short-comings Disney inserted or let slip into the big picture. The restraint in shown in choosing to present certain scenes in 2D and the impressively seamless transition from early eighties to late eighties to present day, not to mention tasteful use of songs by Journey and the Eurythmics, add a touch of class and sophistication to what should by any reckoning be a silly remake of a silly movie concerning an attractive yet silly video game where hot fem-bot types still manage to stomp it out stilettos and impossibly wide tires, or whatever, corner like a ten-speed on ice. Whatever, Daft Punk's cameo was flawlessly fun and I got a kooky idea for an interior lit Jedi cloak that'll look fabulous flapping in the wind while riding a TRON bike. Plus, seeing TRON: Legacy has only kicked off my holiday Sci-Fi/Fantasy movie marathon extravaganza by putting me in the mood for, well, every film I've mentioned above plus about ten others like Bladerunner, Soylent Green, Westworld, Zardoz, They Live, Star Trek IV (the one with the whales) and Star Trek VII (the better one with the Borg), just to name a few. Here's the trailer, if you choose to go out and see it, do yourself a favor and shell out the extra ducats to see it in 3D IMAX, it really should be the only way to view it.

out this week...5/4 & 5/11...delorean...the formidable...dead weather...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 20, 2010 01:18pm | Post a Comment

I know very little about car models and brands. It is just something that I was never interested in. I never really enjoyed playing with model car kits or with hot wheels. Like most boys of the 80's though, I owned my share of toy cars. I didn't really choose my toys and I sort of just used my imagination. I much preferred the spaceships to cars, actually, and I really thought we would all be driving some sort of spaceship by now anyway. It is 2010! Remember when that seemed so far away? I guess it just seemed like the year you would turn 20 if you were born in 1990!...which is a bit crazy to me still. The children of the 90's are growing up too. Movies obviously played a big part of the way I thought about the future. They influenced us all, and often more than what we learned in the textbooks, although I do remember learning about the future in school a bit. I remember having to write an essay in elementary school about what I thought the future would be like. I had to "invent" something that would be commonplace in the future. I would kill somebody to get a hold of that essay! I still have most of my high school and college papers but I think in high school I decided I wasn't ever gonna need to read my papers on Harriet Tubman or the Challenger shuttle disaster that were from middle and elementary school. I think they have been recycled back into other paper products at this point. My essay on the future might have been influenced by the movie Back to the Future more than anything I had been taught in the classroom, but I do remember having a good imagination -- or maybe I just combined the movies Tron and Back To the Future in my mind. Back To The Future came out in 1985. Tron came out in 1982. I would like to think I wrote this paper in 1981, but it may have been a couple of years after that. Maybe my teacher actually took my paper and sold it to Hollywood and made off with a million bucks! I really need to find that paper. I was talking to one of my friends the other day about my first movie memory. Both Tron and Back To The Future are early movie memories. I can still remember the theater I saw E.T. in and where I was sitting. I can also remeber Empire Strikes Back, which I think is my first movie theater memory. Back to the paper... I wrote about these highways that were all tracks. You would just get in your car and tell it where you wanted to go and it would drive there for you. My invention was great because I remember that I claimed, "No more car accidents!" I think I drew pictures and everything. The cars looked more like miniature limos and they came with their own cassette tape boom box, of course. I guess I was not smart enough to invent the mp3 or the Ipod. Or maybe I did and I just don't remember. It was a long time ago.
delorean band
You are probably wondering how I got to be talking about all this if you are still reading along with my journey through my memories. I will relate it all to a new album I love very soon, don't you worry. I loved the Delorean in Back To The Future. And the car doors in my future highway that I designed opened up much like the Delorean in Back To The Future. So of course I was excited about a band named Delorean! It could have been some lame metal emo band that got to the name first, but I'm glad it was this Delorean, a band with a new album out on True Panther. The album is called Subiza. And yes, it does
sound like the future...or maybe some version of the future that I imagined in the 80's. It sounds a bit like a fun beachy Miami Vice soundtrack at times. Or what the hip grandchildren of the Golden Girls would have been listening to. It is also spacey and dreamy. Beachgaze dream pop! I love the new music coming out from bands like Washed Out, Best Coast, Surfer Blood, and The Drums. It's getting me excited for a new generation of musicians. I love the shoegaze so I am of course excited about all the nugaze coming out this last decade, but this band is not nugaze. They are more influenced or at least sound like 90's house and pop dance. They sound more like Pictureplane than Beach House. It's Marky Mark meets the Beach Boys. It's the KLF meets OMD. It's just good. They don't really need a category.  This is my first time hearing Delorean but this is actually this Spanish band's third album. It's a fun dancey album! You should love it. I am already in love!

the joy formidable free download
Another one of my favorites is the brilliant Joy Formidable. However, I have been loving this album for a long time now. I am so happy that it has finally made its way out domestically and with a much larger pressing on CD and vinyl. A Balloon Called Moaning came out originally in a very limited box set. I am proud to be the owner of one of the 500 boxes put out by a great little record store in England. However, I was worried that this band would disappear before they could be heard by everyone. I wantedeveryone to love them as much as I do. The album is just brilliant! It is short and perfect. It reminds me of the first time I heard Elastica or PJ Harvey. It really is that good. Led by a female singer, it is a more punk version of Brit pop. But they could have come out right along with Echobelly and Sleeper. And mix in some Throwing Muses and you might get a sense of what they sound like! I could not stop listening to this record -- I had to give it a break for a while but it is now gladly back in my rotation. It was in my top albums list of the year last year and I might just have to put it in my top albums list of this year too for its domestic release. Get it and love it! You really can't not fall in love with the Joy Formidable.

the new album A Balloon Called Moaning by The Joy Formidable!

the national high violet cd
The National
just released their new album last week. It is called High Violet. The National has been around since 1999 but this, their fifth album, might turn out to be their biggest album yet! Their first two albums were released on Brassland. Alligator came out in 2005 and The Boxer was released in 2007, both on Beggars Banquet. The Boxer was a really fantastic album. Many of us loved it and had high expectations for this new album, but I knew it would not just be another Boxer. It is just as good, it just takes some time to love. You've got to give the album a couple listens and let it get inside you. I have always love the dark and brooding men of indie rock -- the Tindersticks, Smog, and The Black Heart Procession are all some of my favorites, as well as the older Magnetic Fields albums, Arab Strap. All good stuff! I do love these guys and am happy to have them back in my life. This new album is on 4AD, which is a perfect home for them. I like the album packaging. I like the violet. I like the National. The songs are dark and there is no denying it. Some of the songs on this album are titled "Terrible Love," "Sorrow," Runaway," and "Afraid of Everyone." These are not happy songs, but everyone needs some music like this every once in a while. This band might help you explore the darker side of life, but hopefully it will help you through those dark times. Thank you, National.

the new album High Violet by The National!

also out 5/4...

More! by Booka Shade

Forgiveness Rock by Broken Social Scene

MCMLXXX by Lazer Crystal

Together by The New Pornographers

Optimist by The New Young Pony Club

Baby Ouh! by Stereo Total

At Echo Lake by Woods

also out 5/11...

Sea of Cowards by Dead Weather

Relayted by Gayngs

Latin by Holy Fuck

No Singles by Japandroids

Nothing Hurts by Male Bonding

Warm Slime by Thee Oh Sees

Techno-Realism Killed the Videogame Star: TRON Legacy

Posted by Charles Reece, August 2, 2009 11:42am | Post a Comment
Disney premiered a concept trailer for TRON Legacy at the San Diego Comicon (click the link for high-def version). Further evidence of the destructive effect techno-realism has had on the design of fantasy:

I found the little bit of dialog telling: The fallen player yells out, "You won, okay? This is just a game!" To which Quinn (TRON's hero) replies, "Not anymore." Indeed, the game within the movie has started to look more like quotidian reality rather than the beautiful design of the original fantasy.

First, compare the new light cycle crash:

to the old one:

And look how boring a dangling guy is now:

compared to back then:

Note how the cityscape of TRON Legacy:

looks more like the realworld city of TRON:

rather than a digitally enhanced improvement on something like this:

But, then again, the original movie ended on a false note of optimism, where Quinn returned from the authoritarian fantasy world of TRON into a reality that was increasingly becoming that fantasy. Maybe the more mordern-realistic design of TRON Legacy is way of showing how the fantasy and reality are merging. The fantasy becomes duller, more concrete, as reality becomes more of an image, simu
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