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Browse this week's new music releases on CD, LP, download and more.

New Shooter Jennings Video

Watch Shooter Jennings perform a Dylan classic, a Waylon tune, and a tribute to George Jones.

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Amoeba + Converse Exhibit in Hollywood April 30 – May 6

Join us for an exhibit featuring custom Chuck Taylors by musicians including Patti Smith & our own Marc Weinstein, one week only at Project Gallery. View

SF International Film Festival

Amoeba sponsors films about Cibo Matto, Brian Wilson, and The Residents during the San Francisco International Film Festival April 23 – May 7. View

See Gurrumul Live in Los Angeles 5/6

Amoeba presents Aboriginal folk singer Gurrumul at the El Rey Theatre Wednesday, May 6. Tickets on sale now at Amoeba Hollywood. View

Midnites for Maniacs Tribute to Penelope Spheeris in SF

Join us for a triple feature of Penelope Spheeris films and a Q&A with the director in San Francisco Friday, May 8 at Castro Theatre. View

Yuna Performs in San Francisco May 9

Malaysian singer/songwriter Yuna performs at SF’s Nourse Theater Saturday, 5/9 for CIIS Public Programs & Performances. View

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Live at Amoeba

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Shooter Jennings covers Dylan and Waylon in a short Amoeba set while paying tribute to his hero, George Jones with an orignial number from...

Belgian pop superstar, Paul van Haven (AKA Stromae) spoke with us about his musical...

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Sleeping Operator (CD)

The Barr Brothers

Making a second album can be daunting for a group. Having to live up to expectations of their previous release without repeating themselves, the pressure can be severe. For the Barr Brothers,  Sleeping Operator  takes risks that wouldn't have been expected from the neo-classical folk music quartet whose previous album of gentle harmonies, harps and bouncing guitars was more 1961 than 2011. But now they sound 2014 with a vibrant production stepping them out of merely folk and throwing them into a blend of folk-pop ballads with luminous horns, avant-rock percussion, thick string parts and mellow guitar jam-outs. The first track, "Static Orphans," is the ambient cold-opening to a surprisingly indie-rock jam, "Love Ain't Enough," followed by "Wolves" which sounds right out of a '70s country-rock album your parents might have listened to. But they haven't let go of their folk roots. Culminating in "Please Let Me Let It Go," you're left with a sublime sadness that few artists can achieve. This is interesting folk music at heights that few artists can touch.

How Do You Feel Now? (CD)

Joywave

Aptly named Joywave are leading the charge of a genre-less, pretentious-less, alternative pop era. The sound lies somewhere between the unapologetic body shaking of Hot Chip and the cinematic appeal of Bleachers, the latter being current tour-mates. The appeal of Joywave however is the outright denial of the placeholder conformism of such comparisons. Case in point they have wryly claimed their music is a mash up of Pitbull and Coldplay. After receiving critical acclaim from underground mixtapes, culminating in a feature spot on Big Data’s hit single "Dangerous," Joywave found an audience. They dropped the  How Do You Feel  EP a year later to an outpour of media attention. Several months and a couple of viral music videos later, the boys from Rochester are back to ask  How Do You Feel Now?  The album continues in the same vein of the EP. In fact, all four tracks remain on the album including the danceable savage single “Tongues.” Curveballs include the Generation Y dirge “Traveling at the Speed of Light” and the robotic hip-hoperatic closer “Bad Dreams.” Exploration aside, the pop spirit of  How Do You Feel Now?  is what drives the record and the group itself. That spirit, akin to the joyful ecstatic hum of a young festivalgoer’s experience awaiting climax. That is what Joywave has to offer. And there is no doubt that, with the release of this record, they will soon provide said festivalgoer with one hell of a payoff.

Sound & Color (CD)

Alabama Shakes

Alabama Shakes’ meteoric rise thankfully hasn’t tarnished what made them special to begin with.  Sound & Color  is an assured follow-up to  Boys & Girls , further defining the band’s garage-blues sound without just relying on singer/guitarist Brittany Howard’s explosive voice to carry the show. The title track features some gorgeous harmonies and orchestral touches that start the album off in a classy way. But  Sound & Color  quickly proves gritty, as Howard’s banshee wail rips open first single “Don’t Wanna Fight.” “Dunes” is a deep, weird Beatlesesque track that finds Howard struggling to maintain her identity among rising fame (this one has “fan favorite” written all over it). Although it’s pretty obvious how powerful Howard’s voice can be, it reveals new shadings across the album, vacillating between a sweet coo and penetrating cry on the celestial funk of “Future People” and curling into a wild croon and big belt on “Gimme All Your Love.” About that voice—it’s impressive for sure, and Howard and co. have figured out when and where to unleash it, marking the biggest improvement the band has made. When the band does let loose on tracks like garage burner “The Greatest,” the results are all the more sublime. It’s rare when a band can capitalize on hype without succumbing to it as Alabama Shakes have; rarer still that they can avoid the sophomore slump with such aplomb. Alabama Shakes succeed with flying colors on their second outing.  

III (CD)

BadBadNotGood

This trio is changing the rules on improvised instrumental music and taking jazz into the future. III is their biggest project yet, ushering in the group’s newest explorations that are proving to be limitless.

Antemasque (CD)

ANTEMASQUE

Singer Cedric Bixler Zavala and guitarist/ producer Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, kiss and make up to form a new post-punk/power pop influenced monster group… Cedric sounds like he’s adapting a more classic rock style of singing and hones in on super catchy choruses. It’s aggressive, it’s loud, and it rocks.

Who Is The Sender? (CD)

Bill Fay

The melody that is at the heart of Bill Fay is one of resounding hope shrouded in melancholy. His records from the '70s blend elements of baroque pop, polished canyon folk and spirituality so delicately that the melodrama is all but completely washed out. In 1971’s  Time of the Last Persecution  particularly he excavated yearning, loss, and overall faith with a such blunt edged instrument that at first listen it is merely a throwaway folk rock record. A deeper listen, however, proves it to be masterful. It is that simplicity and nuance that has earned him a following of modern songwriters such as Jim O’Rourke, Jeff Tweedy, and Nick Cave. After his critically acclaimed return,  Life Is People , in 2012, Fay releases his follow up  Who Is The Sender? . Now in his mid seventies his oft used soft-spoken execution and world weariness comes off as almost prophetic, certainly larger than life.  Who is the Sender?  is above all a meditation on expression. Who is the sender in which he (Fay) is the vessel for the message? A thought which continues to reveal layers of itself throughout the record. Tracks like “War Machine” and “Order of The Day” represent the fire and drama that Fay still has burning inside of him, but instead of expressing that anger he has transformed it into an acceptance of the inevitable. Which is by no means apathetic, he is sublime in his forcefulness. With that anger and fury comes overwhelming sadness. The sadness remains so repentantly tortuous that you can hear religion in his voice. In fact you only need to hear the title of “Bring It on Lord” to know that he has come to some sort of crossroads with his spirituality. Once you hear the spiritual message that was sent through him, you will know that Bill Fay is every bit as hopeful and human as he ever has been.

Damogen Furies (CD)

Squarepusher

In 2015 the overload of the senses is rather hard to impress upon humans. As information flows freely at a breakneck pace, anesthetized youths engage in a barrage of cultural and emotional assaults on the daily. There seems to be an infinite capacity to the modern humans’ sensory intake. Enter Tom Jekinson AKA Squarepusher. IDM’s antidote to the sonically apathetic. In Damogen Furies Squarepusher has concocted a Free-Jazz inspired unity with the current sound of EDM. The unifying qualities however tend to sound more like an affable acknowledgement of the times backed with an uppercut of unpredictable drill and bass. This unpredictability is due to the spontaneous recording techniques at Jekinson’s disposal. A setup that he created on the road to imitate his home studio, which allows him to record and mix everything in one take. Once that fact comes into view the epic club banger vibe of the opener “Stor Eiglass” or the proficient build of the '80s synth-scape “Exjag Nives” all the more impressive. The bombastic spontaneity of Damogen Furies is equally as innovative as Squarepusher has known to be in the past, with a brutality that matches the current landscape. Brace yourself.

Cry Is For The Flies (CD)

Le Butcherettes

I caught Le Butcherettes as the opening act for Melvins last fall, and I was completely blown away. I can’t get enough of Teri Gender Bender’s vocals. Her voice mixed with punk-tinged mangled circus organs make for a driving, yet dark, record.

Untethered Moon (CD)

Built To Spill

If you thought Built to Spill’s first album in six years would be some somber collection reflecting the band’s elder statesman status, think again.  Untethered Moon  roars right out of the gate, on “All Our Songs.” Doug Martsch lives up to his indie guitar hero mythos with fluttering space cowboy licks and cosmic solos, singing lines in a creeping whisper that could be self-deprecating or sarcastic, but it’s tough not to feel a thrill when he sings, “rock and roll will be here forever.” “New Zoo” builds on that momentum, as new guns Steve Gere (drums) and Jason Albertini (bass) prove their meddle with a steadily building groove over which Martsch drapes intricate guitar lacework, opening up into an R.E.M.-inspired melody. There’s a sense of futility to Martsch’s lyrics that can be funny at times or a drag at others—one song is called “Some Other Song”—but the irony is that  Untethered Moon  brims with energy and melodic ideas (for the record, “Some Other Song” is one of the album’s catchiest tunes). However exhausting the journey may be playing with the same band for more than 20 years, it’s clearly refined Martsch’s craft to the point that  Untethered Moon  feels effortless and powerful.

Runners In The Nerved World (CD)

The Sidekicks

This band has a way of blending pop and punk without sounding like a pop-punk band. They have a knack for catchy music and a talent for writing a coherent record. It’s like The Beach Boys Plus! 

Tuxedo (CD)

Tuxedo

The prolific and diverse hip-hop producer Jake One has teamed up with blue-eyed soul singer Mayer Hawthorne for a new collaboration entitled Tuxedo. Their alter egos - Aquarius (Mayer Hawthorne) and Taurus (Jake One) - are dressed up in tuxedos and presented by Stones Throw founder Peanut Butter Wolf (a man known to dress up himself) as descendants of the one-word moniker family of funk, where you will find groups such as Chic, Shalamar, Plush, and Zapp. It's a retro disco funk record that will have you busting out your own tuxedo and dusting off those dancing shoes.

Soused (CD)

Scott Walker

When black metal/experimental band Sunn O))) team up with ’60s-pop-pinup-turned-avant-garde-vampire Scott Walker, you know the results are going to something special. Indeed,  Soused  makes good on its promise as each artist is in top form on these five extended sound pieces. Walker's disturbing imagery and bellowing vocals are a perfect match for Sunn O)))’s metallic sound waves on “Brando,” as Walker sings “A beating would do me a world of good” amid whipsmacks and Blade Runner synths. Walker leads us through the bleakness of “Herod 2014” with a relatively sweet, ghostly melody as the band’s groaning guitars and insect-like beats make us feel like we’re heading deeper into a dark cavern of sound. The aggressive “Bull” makes for the clearest entry point into the album, with Walker doing his campiest Count-Dracula-leading-a-metal-band vocals and Sunn O))) going for classic hard rock chords on recognizable choruses (but even then, they leave us in the wilderness for extended periods of creeping silence and warm drone). “Fetish” finds all participants at their nastiest, while “Lullaby” ends the album by luring us in with a few minutes of relative quietude before Walker sings some of his most terrifying vocals over the band’s metal riffs—it’s a lullaby for anyone who falls asleep too easily.  Soused  doesn’t make for easy listening, but it’s never dull, either. Walker, in particular, sounds reinvigorated by his involvement with Sunn O))). Hopefully  Soused  is just the beginning of a sick and beautiful partnership.

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May 4 in music history includes Andy Williams, Stevie Wonder, Grand Funk Railroad & more.

Vinyl Vaults

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Two heavy Blues sides from Charley Jordan (aka The Two Charlies) sourced from a pristine Melotone 78 from the 1930s...