Amoeba Music evolves, digitizes, and offers rare vinyl for download on its overhauled website

Amoeba Music evolves, digitizes, and offers rare vinyl for download on its overhauled website http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/1301/news-13-01-amoeba-digital.jpg

Needless to say, record stores are generally having a tough financial time of it these days, and it seems that owners are left with more or less two options to prolong their survival: coax the general public into the store with aromas of delicious food, such as pizza or popcorn, known for their attractive tendencies; or, traverse into the digital world, toward which the market has consistently been moving over the past decade or so.

If there’s any music shop capable of effectively making this transition without hastily receiving a metaphorical boot to the neck by the iTunes Store, it’s the California-based chain Amoeba Music, known for their mammoth physical collections on display in Hollywood, Berkeley, and San Francisco. As Variety reports, the store launched the beta version of their revamped website on October 2 of last year, and contained within it are some tremendous appeals to audiophiles and fans of rarities alike.

The new Vinyl Vaults section makes available for download thousands (okay, at the moment, there are only about 1,000) of rare and out-of-print LPs, and more are being added each day, often with brand new remasters. On the rare side, I’ve discovered the Satanic musings of televangelist Jack Van Impe on the spoken word LP Demons and Exorcism!, and more to the liking of those who don’t buy records for sampling or irony’s sake, there seems to be quite a few singles from jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. Browse for yourself, why don’t you? The price-per-track depends on the format; it’s 78¢ for individual Mp3s, 80¢ for lossless M4As, and $1.50 for WAV files.

The rebirth of amoeba.com, which coincided with both the new Vinyl Vaults section, as well as the store’s digitization of more well-known albums, took a full six years of work, and was handled inhouse by around 200 people, at an estimated cost of $11 million. Sales numbers for Amoeba were flat over the past two years, but co-owner Marc Weinstein elaborates on just how much green presidential blood has been spilt in the process of this undertaking: “Every bit of profit we’ve had for the past few years has gone into trying to build this thing, to get to where we’re at now.”

The goal, according to (also) co-owner Jim Henderson, is to have to a website that “helps prop the stores up.” Let’s hope, for the sake of music fans, and for the sake of the long-term mental stability of Amoeba’s owners, that they succeed.

• Amoeba: http://www.amoeba.com

Soul Jazz’s magical elves cook up another Deutsche Elektronische Musik compilation

Imagine the board game Candyland. But imagine it with records. Rare, rare records, shit you ain’t never heard of and can’t afford. And imagine it with cool British accents. Such is the world of London’s Soul Jazz Records, where the peppermint elves of coolness toil away at their rock candy stoves, cooking up only the freshest, most exquisitely curated albums. And today’s offering is the second Teutonic installment in the label’s exploration of krautrock and… stuff like krautrock, aptly titled Deutsche Elektronische Musik 2.

Spanning two triumphantly spacey CDs, the album features Can, Roedelius, Popol Vuh, Amon Düül II, Faust, NEU!, and man of a million collaborations Brian Eno, together with his cohorts, Moebius & Roedelius, plus many a lesser known gem. David Stubbs of The Wire, The Guardian, Melody Maker and about seventeen other prestigious music writing/editing gigs did the liner notes for the album. Deutsche Elektronische Musik 2 comes out March 11 in the UK and will be available on both CD and vinyl.

Deutsche Elektronische Musik 2 tracklisting:

Disc 1:
01. A.R. & Machines, “Globus”
02. Can, “Halleluwah”
03. Roedelius, “Le Jardin”
04. Michael Rother, “Karussell”
05. Popol Vuh, “Der Grosse Krieger”
06. Michael Hoenig, “Sun and Moon”
07. Agitation Free, “You Play For Us Today”
08. DAF, “Co Co Pino”
09. Harald Grosskopf, “Emphasis”
10. Amon Düül II, “A Morning Excuse”
11. Conrad Schnitzler & Wolf Sequenza, “Fata Morgana”
12. Bröselmaschine, “Nossa Bova”
13. Eno, Moebius & Roedelius, “Base & Apex”
14. Gila, “In a Sacred Manner”
15. Wolfgang Riechmann, “Himmelblau”

Disc 2:
01. A.R. & Machines, “Als Hätt Ich Das Alles Schon Mal Gesehen (As If I Had Seen All This Before)”
02. Gila, “Sundance Chant”
03. NEU!, “Isi”
04. Pyrolator, “Danger Cruising”
05. Sergius Golowin, “Die Weisse Alm”
06. You, “Electric Day”
07. Niagara, “Gibli”
08. Popol Vuh, “Ja Sie Sollen Gottes Kinder Heissen Agnus Dei, Agnus Dei”
09. Rolf Trostel, “Der Prophet”
10. Electric Sandwich, “China”
11. Asmus Tietchens, “Zeebrugge”
12. Faust, “Krautrock”

• Soul Jazz: http://www.souljazzrecords.co.uk

The Strokes will release Comedown Machine on March 26. GET EXCITED YOU GUYS.

Maybe I’m not the most qualified writer for this belated bit of news about The Strokes. Until approximately 20 minutes ago, I’d forgotten they existed. I only liked five songs on Is This It?, and I never listened to anything they released after that.

Oh well. Now that I’ve dug myself into this hole, I might as well finish. Lots of people seem to have lost their marbles over the announcement of Comedown Machine, The Strokes’ fifth LP, which will be out March 26 on RCA. Comedown Machine follows 2011’s Angles (TMT Review), and there’s a track called “One Way Trigger” floating around SoundCloud right now, which you can stream below. If it’s up your alley, you can pre-order the album from iTunes on February 19, and you’ll get the first single, “All The Time,” for free. If you’re really freaking out though, then you can go ahead and pre-order the Comedown Machine right now from The Strokes’ website, along with “One Way Trigger.”

That’s all. I’m done.

• The Strokes: http://www.thestrokes.com
• RCA: http://www.rcarecords.com

Boris announce US residency tour, promise nights of classics, drone, their album Flood, clowns

I’m seeing double! Four Borises! Alright, I hope you enjoyed that reference to The Simpsons classic “Homie The Clown,” but we’ve got business to attend to. Japanese experimental-metal heroes Boris are heading to the United States with some very special plans. In a tour that totes itself as being “from the past, the present, and through to the future,” the band is taking residency for two nights in a number of US cities. If you’ve got a very specific bucket list that involves seeing Boris two nights in a row without having to leave town, this is your time.

If you’re not that person, there’s still good reason to go to both Boris dates. For the first date in each city, the band promises performances of their all-time classics, along with new songs never performed in the US before. That said, those all-time classics presumably don’t include any parts of the group’s 2000 album Flood, which the band will be performing most of during each residency’s second night. Those second nights will also include a noise/drone/experimental set. If that wasn’t enough (though it should be, you greedy parasites), the band will also be selling a limited edition tour-only release at their merch table.

“But what if I live in Austin and I wanted to see them at Austin Psych Fest?” you say. Well, they’re playing that, too.

Boris dates:

04.27.13 - Austin, TX - Carson Creek (Austin Psych Fest)
05.01.13 - Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel
05.02.13 - Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel
05.04.13 - Allston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
05.05.13 - Allston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
05.06.13 - New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge
05.07.13 - New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge
05.10.13 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
05.11.13 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
05.18.13 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile
05.19.13 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile
05.21.13 - San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop
05.22.13 - San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop
05.23.13 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echoplex
05.24.13 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echoplex

• Boris: http://borisheavyrocks.com

RIP: Patty Andrews of The Andrews Sisters

Patty Andrews, the last surviving member of the Andrews Sisters trio, died of natural causes at her home in Los Angeles on Wednesday, according to her management. She was 94. The group’s career spanned more than five decades and resulted in 90 million records and 46 top ten hits.

The youngest of the sisters, Patricia Marie Andrews was just 19 when the trio became an overnight sensation crooning the old Yiddish folk tune “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen.” Patty not only sang lead — she was clearly the star of the group.

“Patty was an outstanding presence. She was the leader; she was the one that your eyes would focus on,” says Joel Whitburn, founder of a company that’s tracked Billboard’s popular music charts for almost 40 years called Record Research. “She just seemed to effuse that warmth and personality and charm and smile — and vigor — more so than the other two sisters.”

• The Andrews Sisters: http://www.cmgww.com/music/andrews

The Breeders announce 20th anniversary tour for Last Splash so that it can make its last cash

Dateline, 1993: Everything’s awesome. Great Simpsons episodes. Cool U.S. president. Nirvana freakin’ rules and The Breeders are respectably and effectively scratching your Pixies itch.

Dateline, 2013: Everything sucks ass. TV has Honey Boo Boo on it, all politicians are universally lame, and when Kim Deal isn’t busy plucking endless 8th notes and being miserable in the zombie-Pixies, she’s busy just generally avoiding doing stuff with The Breeders.

But then, to the joy of us all, the crackshot accountants who work for all the major music festivals did some brilliant math and realized that 2013 would be the 20th anniversary of The Breeders’ landmark Last Splash, Deal (along with her on-again-off-again sister Kelley and the rest of the line-up from that album’s era, including Josephine Wiggs and Jim Macpherson) was practically forced to hit the stage for the greater good of transporting thousands of festival goers (such as Deerhunter’s ATP and Primavera) back to that simpler time of of shrieking dial-up internet and terrible-looking bikinis.

Now, as Pitchfork points out, the idea has ballooned into a full-blown (by Breeders standards) tour in support of Last Splash, including several more European dates and a dry run in New York that’ll presumably be awful-but-cool-to-have-been-at. Like that one other band’s reunion show I saw. You know the one I’m talking about, right?

Oh! And TOTALLY coincidentally, 4AD is reissuing Last Splash in April. Which I know you’ll be needing to pick up, because when I was looking through the 700 used copies of the thing in the dollar bin at Reckless Records, I totally saw your motherfucking copy in there.

The Breeders:

03.29.13 - Brooklyn, NY - The Bell House
05.24.13 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera
05.27.13 - Toulouse, France - Le Bikini
05.28.13 - Bordeaux, France - Le Rocher De Palmer
06.01.13 - Paris, France - Trianon
06.02.13 - Brussels, Belgium - Ancienne Belgique
06.03.13 - Amsterdam, Holland - Paradiso
06.21.13 - Camber Sands, UK - All Tomorrow’s Parties

• The Breeders: http://breedersdigest.net
• 4AD: http://4ad.com