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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Watsky

Posted by Amoebite, May 23, 2017 02:49pm | Post a Comment

Watsky What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

"I generally am of the strong opinion that the Vince Guaraldi Christmas album and the Oscar Peterson Christmas album are the best Christmas albums of all time," says rapper and writer Watsky while holding up The Isley Brothers' album I'll Be Home For Christmas. "But I'm willing to give Isley Brothers' Christmas a chance." Watsky was at Amoeba Hollywood recently picking up some records that were near and dear to him, as well as some albums he hadn't heard yet, including the aforementioned holiday album. A you would expect from the lauded writer and lyricist he had some interesting things to say about all of his picks.

George Virden Watsky, better known, simply, as Watsky, began his career as a highly-acclaimed slam poet. Considered the Bay Area's reigning teen slam poetry champion in the mid-'00s, he racked up Watsky x Infinity titles like Youth Speaks Grand Slam Poetry Champion and Brave New Voices International Poetry Slam Champion. He has appeared on HBO's Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Season Six.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Jean-Michel Jarre

Posted by Amoebite, May 16, 2017 12:17pm | Post a Comment

Jean-Michel Jarre What's In My Bag?

We were excited to host a live interview and Q&A with pioneering electronic music composer Jean-Michel Jarre and presenter/journalist Nic Harcourt at Amoeba Hollywood. Before the event, we sat down with Jarre for a "What's In My Bag?" episode and he talked with us about Boys Noize and the new wave of German techno artists, the first time he heard Julia Holter's voice, and M83's instantly recognizable sound.

Jean-Michel Jarre is a French composer, performer, and producer of avant-garde electronic and new age music. The son of legendary film composer Maurice Jarre, the younger Jarre first studied classical piano before falling in love with jazz. He then immersed himself in musique concrete before turning to electro-acoustic music. Before moving entirely into electronic music, he composed for films and wrote songs for many popular singers, including Francoise Hardy. In 1977, Jarre's electronic music breakthrough arrived in the form of Oxygène, his debut LP.

Jean-Michel Jarre Oxygene 3A year later, his follow up Equinoxe appeared to an equally dazzling response; Jarre performed a series of open air concerts in Paris' Place de la Concorde to an estimated audience of one million spectators. These concerts earned him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. 1981's Les Chants Magnétiques and 1983's Music for Supermarkets also marked high points in the artist's career. After a relatively quiet decade in the 1990s, Jarre returned to prominence in the '00s. His albums Electronica, Vol. 1: The Time Machine (2015) and Electronica, Vol. 2: The Heart of Noise (2016) featured some of the most prestigious names in music, including John Carpenter, Hans Zimmer, Cyndi Lauper, Vince Clarke, Armin van Buuren, and Pete Townshend. His most recent release, Oxygène 3, was released in December 2016. 

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Bad Religion's Greg Graffin

Posted by Amoebite, May 10, 2017 05:50pm | Post a Comment

Greg Graffin What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

"I like compilations by prolific artists who are long since dead," says Bad Religion frontman Greg Graffin, "because I think of myself as a prolific artist, and not everything is that great." Before his recent book signing at Amoeba Hollywood Graffin picked up the Hank Williams compilation The Complete Singles As & Bs 1947-55. "But Hank Williams is a great singer/songwriter, in the tradition that I consider myself...so you have to know some of his important body of work." Believe it or not Graffin actually chose this 4-CD set over another Williams set on account of its brevity. The other set, The Complete Mother's Best Collection, contains 15 discs, which Graffin says "is too many songs to listen to."

Besides being the lead vocalist and songwriter of the legendary American punk band Bad Religion, Greg Graffin is also an author and a UCLA and Cornell-trained academic who has taught courses in evolution, paleontology, and life sciences. He has written several books, including Anarchy Evolution: Faith, Science, and Bad Religion in a World Without God and Population Wars.

Greeg Graffin MillportGraffin and friends founded Bad Religion in 1979, while they were still in high school. Their debut studio LP, How Could Hell Be Any Worse?, arrived in 1982, but their turning point as a band came in 1988, with the release of their third LP, Suffer. The album is considered to be one of the greatest punk albums of all time. Bad Religion have steadily released albums since their inception and despite several lineup changes; their most recent release is 2013's True North. Graffin released his first solo LP in 1997, American Lesion. His latest solo album, Millport, landed on March 10, 2017 via ANTI-.

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New 'What's In My Bag?' Episode with Comedians Kristen Schaal & Kurt Braunohler

Posted by Amoebite, May 1, 2017 05:55pm | Post a Comment

Kristen Schaal & Kurt Braunohler

We were psyched to have comedians Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler host our charity auction for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank at Amoeba Hollywood back in December. Schaal and Braunohler saved some time to do a little shopping and picked up music, stand-up, movies, and baby clothes, including a prison-striped Johnny Cash "Folsom Prison Blues" onesie. "Then it looks like the baby's in prison," says Braunohler, "and that's always fun."

Hot Tub with Kurt and Kristen Live at the VirgilKurt Braunohler and Kristen Schaal are the hosts of Hot Tub with Kurt & Kristen, a weekly variety show originally based in New York City and now taking place at The Virgil in Los Angeles. The duo also co-created the online series Penelope: Princess of Pets. In November, Kill Rock Stars released their comedy album, Hot Tub with Kurt and Kristen Live at the Virgil, on double vinyl. 

Braunohler has performed at some of the most well-regarded comedy showcases and entertainment festivals in the world, including Montreal's Just for Laughs festival, the New York Comedy Festival, Edinburgh Fringe, SXSW, Bonnaroo, All Tomorrow's Parties, HBO US Comedy Arts Festival, and the Chicago Improv Festival. He has appeared on Bob's Burgers, Chelsea Lately, and John Oliver Presents. He currently hosts the podcast The K Ohle with Kurt Braunohler for the Nerdist network and just launched a new audio series available on Audible with his wife, Lauren Cook, called Wedlock.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Okkervil River

Posted by Amoebite, April 24, 2017 06:31pm | Post a Comment

Okkervil River What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

"There's something so beautiful and defenseless about a man singing in a really high voice with other men singing in really high voices," says Will Sheff, lead singer and songwriter of Okkervil River. "There's something so masculine/feminine about that sound." Sheff is talking about the album Don't Turn Around by the '70s R&B group Black Ivory, whose title track features some sweet falsetto harmonizing. Don't Turn Around was one of the many records Sheff bought when he visited Amoeba Hollywood, where he found a very eclectic mix of goodies and shared some his musical influences, both present and past.

Okkervil River AwayNamed after a short story by Russian author Tatyana Tolstaya, American indie rock band Okkervil River formed in Austin, TX, in 1998. The band started attracting attention off the strength of their self-released debut album Stars Too Small to Use, which led to a series of successful SXSW appearances, greater notice from music media, and eventually, a deal with Jagjaguwar. Their first album for the label, Don't Fall in Love with Everyone You See, landed in 2002. Further critical acclaim came with the release of their third LP, 2005's Black Sheep Boy.

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