Tag Archives: Amoeba Music
The quirky-looking building on the southeast corner of Telegraph and Haste, now Amoeba Music, has a colorful history that illustrates several chapters in Berkeley’s proud, independent history.
The building at 2455 Telegraph started life as Lucky’s Store No. 18.
It served the south campus neighborhood for several decades. In February 1964, the campus chapter of CORE (the Congress on Racial Equality) took action against Lucky Store 18 in an effort to pressure Lucky into hiring African-Americans. The actions included picketing and the “shop-in,” in which nicely dressed CORE members filled shopping carts with groceries but then refused to pay for the groceries until Lucky ended its discriminatory practices.
After ten days of picketing and shop-ins, Lucky signed an agreement covering its Bay Area stores, promising to end racial discrimination in its hiring practices. Shortly after that, it closed Store No. 18 on Telegraph. They blamed a high degree of shoplifting on the decision to close, but it is difficult to believe that there wasn’t some degree of retaliation for the shop-ins.
The next business to open at 2455 Telegraph was the Espresso Forum, one of the first two espresso shops on Telegraph. … Continue reading »
Vinyl, it’s not just for DJs anymore. The Oakland Museum of California’s new interactive exhibit Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records, highlights the resurgence of the LP and the enduring appeal of leafing through a bin of albums searching for unexpected aural pleasure.
Opening on Saturday, which is also international Record Store Day, the exhibition features listening stations, a newly commissioned art work by MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Walter Kitundu, hundreds of albums, and thematic playlists — dubbed “curated crates” — by an array of cultural figures, including BAM/PFA’s Steve Seid (remembrance of life as a teenager), actress and spoken word artist Aya de Leon (musical influences growing up and becoming a parent), and Berkeley-based novelist Michael Chabon (growing up as a nerd). … Continue reading »
RESOURCES ROUNDTABLE California has been quite dry this year — but Friday’s roundtable on the drought will be anything but. The Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative is hosting its annual day of panel discussions and lectures on April 18. This year’s Resources Roundtable is titled “California’s Drought: Challenges and Opportunities.” Speakers — including several UC Berkeley professors — will trace the deep history of dryness in the state, and consider the current obstacles to, and potential for, addressing drought. The $10 tickets provide access to all events from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the David Brower Center at 2150 Allston Way. … Continue reading »
Just as Berkeley starts settling into its pleasingly sleepy summer rhythm, the 9th Annual World Music Festival takes over Telegraph on Saturday, infusing the avenue with a jolt of energy. Running from noon to 9 pm, the free musical fest brings an international array of music to cafés and shops south of campus, with the action centering on the Amoeba-sponsored People’s Park stage from 1-6 pm.
While the music is global in scope, the artists are local, highlighting the wealth of talent, homegrown and adopted, that abides among us. Maria Muldaur headlines at People’s Park, kicking off the last set at 4:30 pm. While still best known for her 1974 pop hit “Midnight At the Oasis,” she’s an authoritative blues singer with a good feel for jazz who has honed a rootsy Gulf Coast sound with her Red Hot Bluesiana Band.
Other featured acts include the ferociously grooving Cuban dance music of Fito Reynoso y su Ritmo y Armonia (People’s Park 2:45 pm); the sensuous tangos of Trio Garufa (The Village 7 pm); the joyous Manouche swing of Duo Gadjo (Caffé Mediterraneum noon); the incantatory Shona percussion and thumb piano of Sadza Marimba & Mbira (Haste and Telegraph 1 pm); and the Moroccan trance rhythms of percussionist Bouchaib Abdelhadi with oud master Yassir Chadly (Rasputin Music 4 pm). … Continue reading »
Update, 5:18pm: Writing in the Berkeley Voice, Doug Oakley reports that the owner of the Sequoia Building will begin tearing it down Monday, but it remains in danger of collapsing and is a public safety problem until that happens, according to city officials.
Roland Peterson, executive director of the Telegraph Avenue Business Improvement District, tells Oakley that a demolition permit was issued late Wednesday and he has been told that what remains of the structure will be taken down to … Continue reading »
By Steven Finacom
Telegraph Avenue’s Sequoia Apartments building, seriously damaged in a fire on Friday, November 18, 2011, is a stately and historic edifice that helped define the character of Telegraph Avenue in both the early 20th century and in the 1960s.
Constructed in 1916, the 96-year-old, 39-apartment, building was part of an early 20th century development boom that transformed Telegraph Avenue into a bustling business and residential district.
When the Sequoia was built, Berkeley was one of most populous cities in California, riding a wave of suburb development and urbanization that had started with the construction of streetcar lines around the turn of the century, and accelerated after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. … Continue reading »
The city of Berkeley and the merchants of Telegraph Avenue are encouraging the community to shop on Berkeley’s most famous street this holiday season after a devastating fire left many people homeless on Friday and closed down one section of the commercial strip indefinitely.
“The message we want to put out is that most stores on Telegraph are open for business. We would like to encourage shopping on Telegraph in part because of this terrible blow,” said Dave Fogarty, Berkeley’s economic development project coordinator.
Several businesses have been directly impacted by the five-alarm fire at the historic building at 2441 Haste Street. Café Intermezzo and Raleigh’s Bar & Grill, both located in the building at street level and owned by the Ent family, the building’s landlords, have been shut down indefinitely, as has the nearby Thai Noodle II.
Amoeba Music lost $20,000 worth of business over the weekend because the store, which is across the street from the building, had to close, according to owner Marc Weinstein. Amoeba re-opened in a limited way Monday morning but customers were only able to enter using a side door. … Continue reading »
Back in April, three Berkeley boys made a return visit to their hometown. Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer are the threesome behind Lonely Island, makers of ‘digital shorts” (otherwise known as music videos) for NBC’s Saturday Night Live.
The trio visited Amoeba on National Record Store Day to promote their latest album, Turtleneck & Chain, and chat with their fans, some of whom could not contain their excitement (as in much screaming and one hug request directed … Continue reading »
So sooner had the ink dried on our story about Amoeba celebrating National Record Store Day tomorrow with, among other things, an appearance by The Lonely Island Berkeley boys, than the news crosses our transom that Rolling Stone has named Amoeba the best record store in the country.
Amoeba, which was founded in 1990 by former Rasputin employees, Marc Weinstein among them, now has three stores: the inaugural Berkeley space on Telegraph Avenue, the 24,000 sq ft San … Continue reading »
Update, 7:30pm: Exciting news: Dina, one of the managers of Amoeba, writes in to say that this event is NOT sold out as of 5 o’clock 4.14.11. “There are still wristbands available for those who pre-order the new album. Thanks! Peace” Thanks Dina.
But before you … Continue reading »
The city of Berkeley’s environmental health division says it is working to solve the problem of a rat infestation on a vacant lot on the corner of Telegraph Avenue and Haste.
City of Berkeley spokesperson Mary Kay Clunies-Ross tells Berkeleyside that city officials have been to the site “a couple of times” since a report on Berkeleyside highlighted the presence of the rodents, which can clearly be seen by passers-by walking on the sidewalk.
“We have been baiting the rats,” Clunies-Ross says. “There is a long history of rats at this location and at other spots in Berkeley. The rodent population goes up and down according to the season and depending on whether they have sources of food and water.” She added that the city is also in communication with the owner of this particular lot, Ken Sarachan, to address the problem. … Continue reading »
One of the most graphic moments at Berkeleyside’s inaugural Local Business Forum on Monday night was when Marc Weinstein, the co-founder 20 years ago of Amoeba Music, stood up and described a scene he encounters regularly on the vacant lot near his store on the corner of Telegraph and Haste.
“I don’t want to turn people off any more from coming down to Telegraph because it’s such a wonderful place,” he said. “But there’s millions of rats in this one lot — rats — and there’s homeless people all around that lot right now feeding the rats all this thrown-away pizza out of the garbage cans… There are no plans to do anything with that lot. That empty lot has been there for 20-plus years. It’s just blight on the street.” … Continue reading »
The founder of Amoeba Records, the world’s largest independent record retailer, which opened in a former Mexican restaurant on Telegraph Avenue in 1990, Weinstein has built a veritable empire based on the belief that independent artists have equal standing to major-label artists.