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Posts Tagged ‘Amoeba Music’

Yoshi’s and Amoeba Music, Oh My!

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Aquarius Records

A few weeks ago I was in San Francisco, in part to visit an old friend, in part to see a few shows of John Zorn’s 6-night residency at Yoshi’s. I wrote all about the concerts I saw over at the City Paper, but the brief summary is: Bar Kokhba: wow!; The Dreamers: meh; Electric Masada: holy shit my life is complete. Also: Yoshi’s is a pretty sweet place to see jazz. A little swanky for my tastes, but the one-item minimum is quite reasonable (much better than, say, the $10 minimum at fucking Blues Alley here in DC) and the sushi is totally amazing. Also, for the last Electric Masada set I had fantastic seats up in the balcony, dead center, perfect view of everything.

I also stumbled into Aquarius Records - I am on their mailing list but kind of forgot they’re in SF, and was wandering around my friend’s neighborhood when we came across it. What a great store. As in the pic above, they have these hand-printed reviews taped onto every single CD they sell in the store. Really, every single one. Very obvious that the people who work here love their music. Props!

And, of course, I went to Amoeba Music, which is a very very dangerous place for me, and I walked out with…

  • Æthenor - Faking Gold and Murder
  • Bozulich, Carla - Red Headed Stranger
  • Claudia Quintet, The - Semi-Formal
  • Coleman, Ornette - Free Jazz
  • Coltrane, John - Sun Ship
  • Coltrane, John - Live in Japan (4 CDs)
  • Coup, The - Kill My Landlord
  • Crow, Sheryl - Detours
  • Dresden Dolls, The - The Dresden Dolls
  • Earth - Live Europe 2006
  • Faun Fables - The Transit Rider
  • Flying Luttenbachers, The - Cataclysm
  • Full Blast - Black Hole/Live at Tampere (2 CDs)
  • Geraldine Fibbers, The - Butch
  • Healing Force - The Songs of Albert Ayler
  • Leng Tch’e - ManMadePredator
  • Leng Tch’e - The Process of Elimination
  • Leng Tch’e - Marasmus
  • Ligeti, György - The Ligeti Project II
  • Jarrett, Keith - Radiance (2 CDs)
  • Jewel - Goodbye Alice in Wonderland
  • Schoenberg/Sibelius - Violin Concertos (Hilary Hahn)
  • Tarentel - Live Edits: Italy/Switzerland
  • Xenakis, Iannis - Ensemble Music 2

Seriously, what a fantastic store. I got almost all of those used and cheap. I don’t even know what that Earth album is - it’s an official live album on Southern Lord, but it’s apparently out of print and a Google search turns up very little information. I’ve listened to it once so far and it seems pretty solid. Nothing transcendent but a pretty accurate representation of Earth live. I still want to track down a copy of Live Hex though…

Amoeba Music, and I’m an “odd fellow”

Sunday, July 9th, 2000

Oy. Just got back from a nice vacation in San Francisco. I have a nice big backlog of reviews in my inbox and a few interesting tidbits to relate. Tomorrow I’m turning right around and driving a couple hours to play four games of Ultimate, so no more updates til Monday…

Made my usual stop at Amoeba Music and blew a hundred bucks or so there:

  • The Gathering - Nighttime Birds
  • Giles/Muir/Cunningham - Ghost Dance
  • King Crimson - In the Wake of Poseidon 30th anniversary limited
  • King Crimson - Lizard 30th anniversary limited
  • Tony Levin - Waters of Eden
  • A Silver Mt. Zion - He Has Left Us Alone…
  • Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream

I wanted to pick up RuinsBurning Stone (used), a bunch of Yoshida Tatsuya stuff, a 2-on-1 of Gryphon’s Red Queen to Gryphon Three and Raindance, Djam Karet’s Suspension and Displacement, Zappa’s Läther (used), etc etc etc, but I ran out of cash. What a familiar situation.

Unfortunately, due to dinner plans and a rather persistent flu-like sickness that I’ve had for almost two weeks now, I was unable to see the Le Orme show on O’Farrell street Monday night. (ARG!) I’ve heard it kicked some ass and there were only like 20 people there. I will be kicking myself for the forseeable future for missing this, but what the hell.

Here’s a neat tidbit from MP3s of a live Atavism of Twilight performance in 1991.

Interesting comments from an anonymous Ground and Sky fan about the latest issue of Progression, which I have yet to pick up (nicely enough, the local Borders carries the zine quite reliably!):

On your “other resources” page, you note that Progression magazine’s reviews are “invariably positive”. The editorial in the latest issue of said mag (Spring/Summer 2000) has this to say: “One odd fellow who has a prog-rock website noted in his blurb about Progression that the magazine’s reviews are “uniformly positive,” suggesting they’re of little service to the discerning reader. That’s a crock.”

Is the editor referring to Ground and Sky?

Then, three pages later, brand-new columnist Stephanie Sollow discusses music review sites on the web. Maybe there truly are “hundreds” of such sites in existence, as she writes, and so it is impossible to mention them all, but I find the omission of G&S to be particularly glaring.

I don’t know the answers to the questions posed, but I will say this: my take on Progression stands - I read it because there’s not a lot to read in terms of print zines about this genre, but I find the reviews less than useful and the writing less than great. They can take me to task (if they can’t dish out the criticism, can they take it?), but that’s an honest opinion and I’ll stand behind it. As for Stephanie’s article, well, we recently traded banners with no problems at all, and as far as I know she holds no enmity towards this site, so I can’t imagine an intentional omission occurred for any underhanded reasons.

Currently reading Douglas Hofstadter’s acknowledged classic of modern philosophy, Gödel, Escher, Bach. He makes fascinating observations about Bach’s music - I’m sure they’re nothing new or revelatory, but I’ve never read any in-depth study of Bach, so it’s all intriguing stuff for me. Besides that, it’s a great book so far anyway.

Well, it’s been a long week and I have a long day ahead of me, so I’d better catch a few hours of sleep. Till Monday.