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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with José James

Posted by Amoebite, March 14, 2019 01:22pm | Post a Comment

Jose James - What's In My Bag? - Amoeba Music

Acclaimed neo-soul/jazz/hip-hop musician and composer José James did some shopping at Amoeba Hollywood recently and talked with us about some of his favorite artists for our latest What's In My Bag? episode. James went looking for a Tribe Called Quest t-shirt and ended up with an Eric Dolphy shirt instead, happily surprised to see the jazz saxophonist/clarinetist printed on a piece of apparel. "He's a really deep figure for me, and for jazz," he explained. "His album Out To Lunch, on Blue Note, to me is the highest standard of avant-garde music in America." James went on to discuss Dolphy's influence on John Coltrane, saying he "encouraged John to let the saxophone speak. He was really trying to get beyond the limitations of the instrument, and just make sounds." James had similarly thoughtful things to say about every item he picked, giving us an educational and entertaining peek into his shopping bag.

Born in Minneapolis, MN, José James attended The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. His oeuvre has been compared to D'Angelo, Frank Ocean, Miguel, Bobby McFerrin, and Leon Thomas. Jose James - Lean On Me - Amoeba MusicHe released his debut LP, The Dreamer, in 2008 via the Brownswood label. James followed his first LP with Blackmagic (Brownswood) and For All We Know (Verve), both released in 2010. The latter album took home the Edison Award and the L'Académie du Jazz Grand Prix for the year's Best Vocal Jazz Album.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with James Lavelle of UNKLE & Mo' Wax

Posted by Amoebite, March 6, 2019 03:30pm | Post a Comment

UNKLE - What's In My Bag?

We were very fortunate to have DJ, producer, musician, and record label executive James Lavelle visit Amoeba Hollywood to share some of the music and movies that have shaped his tastes, including a film by a director he says influenced how looks at Los Angeles. That director is Michael Mann and the film is his 1995 masterpiece, Heat. "(This is) a film that I love very much and I love the director," he told us. Lavelle also talked about The Watchmen, Neneh Cherry, and the impact of DJ Shadow's landmark debut album Endtroducing... making for a particularly eclectic and engaging What's In My Bag? episode.

English artist James Lavelle co-founded the Mo' Wax record label with Tim Goldsworthy in 1992, UNKLE - The Road Part I - Amoeba Musicreleasing now-classic records by Money Mark, DJ Krush, Dr. Octagon, Luke Vibert, Blackalicious, and DJ Shadow. After the release of Endtroducing..... in 1996, Lavelle and DJ Shadow collaborated on the UNKLE project. The band's first LP, 1998's Psyence Fiction featured guest appearances from Thom YorkeRichard Ashcroft, the Beastie Boys' Mike D, and Badly Drawn Boy. Lavelle teamed up with Richard File for UNKLE's 2003 followup, Never, Never Land, with contributions from 3D (Massive Attack) and Josh Homme (QOTSTA).

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

Posted by Amoebite, February 27, 2019 12:28pm | Post a Comment

Habibi - What's In My Bag?

Rahill Jamalifard and Leah Fishman from Brooklyn psych rock band Habibi went digging through the racks at Amoeba Hollywood recently and shared some of their favorite records for our latest What's In My Bag? episode. The bandmates and avid record collectors spotted The Paragons' rocksteady/reggae LP On The Beach at the same time, but Jamalifard grabbed it first. "I have been listening to 'When The Lights Are Low,' just over and over," she said. Noting that that the record was in the wrong section, Fishman joked, "I feel like you planted that." It was evident that the musicians and occasional DJs had very eclectic taste, including pysch, Persian pop, soul, garage, punk, and cumbia.

Taking their name from the Arabic word for "my love," Habibi fuses '60s girl Habibi - Amoeba Musicgroup sounds with psych rock. The band was formed in 2011 by Detroit natives Lenaya Lynch (guitar/vocals) and Rahill Jamalifard (vocals), who teamed up with New York musicians Erin Campbell (bass/guitar/vocals), Karen Isabel (drums), and Leah Beth Fishman (guitar/vocals). After touring with King Tuff and earning buzz at SXSW and CMJ, the band signed to Born Bad Records for the release of a self-titled 7".  In 2014, Burger Records put out the band's eponymous debut full-length. Habibi teamed up with La Luz for a split EP in 2015. The five-piece released the Cardamom Garden EP in 2018, featuring two songs sung largely in Farsi. 

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Jessica Pratt

Posted by Amoebite, February 11, 2019 06:35pm | Post a Comment

Jessica Pratt - What's In My Bag?

Amoeba Hollywood was excited to have singer/songwriter, and Amoeba alum, Jessica Pratt in the store recently for a cool and educational What's In My Bag? interview. The Los Angeles based artist had lots of insightful things to say about all the records and books she found while digging through the bins, especially when it came to a perennial favorite, Marianne Faithfull's Rich Kid Blues. Explaining that the English singer was homeless and in the midst of a terrible heroin addiction when the album was recorded, Pratt told us, "you can tell listening to it that her voice is rather shaky, and she doesn't really have full control, but at the same time she's playing with these studio musicians and they're like really tight, so it's kind of a nice contrast." Pratt also appreciated some the song choices, which included a couple of Bob Dylan tunes. "Dylan songs are really hard to cover...I think there's a lot of pretty repulsive Dylan covers out there, but she really nails it." Pratt's cool picks and cool commentary made for a particularly cool video.

Pratt learned to play the guitar at age fifteen, teaching herself by playing along to T. Rex's Electric Jessica Pratt - Quiet SignsWarrior album. As a teen, she recorded her own music using her mother's Fender guitar amp and a microphone. After moving to San Francisco as an adult, Pratt befriended Tim Presley of White Fence who became a fan of her lo-fi psych/folk compositions and released her self-titled 2012 LP through his Birth Records label. The initial limited edition pressing (500 copies) sold out in two weeks and received glowing reviews from Pitchfork and Consequence of Sound.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Shannon Shaw

Posted by Amoebite, February 5, 2019 03:22pm | Post a Comment

Shannon Shaw - What's In My Bag? - Amoeba Music

We were delighted to have Bay Area indie/garage artist Shannon Shaw visit Amoeba Hollywood recently to talk about some of her current musical interests and a few of the records that shaped her tastes in our latest What's In My Bag? episode. "I found a box of tapes that changed my life," she told us. Among those beloved tapes were an OMD album, '80s skate thrash, and the oldies compilations Cruisin' that feature old radio DJ interludes. Having found an LP of Cruisin' 1960 at Amoeba, she waxed nostalgic about obsessively listening to those tapes for two years. "I feel privy to a slice of life that I missed." 

Shannon Shaw is a founding member of the eponymous Shannon and the Clams. After bassist/vocalist Shaw met guitarist Cody Blanchard at California College of the Arts in the late '00s, the Shannon In Nashvilleduo began performing their signature hybrid of classic garage, doo-wop, and old school R&B. The band's current lineup solidified with the recruitment of keyboardist Will Sprott and drummer Nate Mahan. The group's debut album, I Wanna Go Home, was released in 2009. Sleep Talk followed in 2011. Next came Dreams in the Rat House (2013), Gone by the Dawn (2015), and Onion (2018), which was produced by Dan Auerbach for his Easy Eye Sound label.

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