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Monterey Jazz Fest Sept 19-21

Visit the mini-Amoeba store at MJF for artist signings, collectible CDs and vinyl, and more.

Music We Like Contest

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Festival Supreme Contest

Enter to win tickets to see Cheech & Chong, Margaret Cho & more Oct. 25 at LA’s Shrine Expo Hall. View

Berkeley World Music Festival Autumn Equinox

See free shows in People’s Park Sat 9/20 and enjoy the Telegraph Ave Street Faire Sunday 9/21 at the first ever Autumn Equinox. View

Mary Lambert Live in San Francisco September 27

Singer, songwriter & spoken word artist Mary Lambert performs at the Nourse Theater in SF 9/27, part of CIIS Public Programs & Performances. View

Bay Area Record Fair September 27

Come record digging at the free Bay Area Record Fair Saturday 9/27 12-5pm at Thee Parkside in San Francisco. View

Headline: Edward Colver Photo Exhibit in LA Sept 20 – Nov 22

We’re sponsoring this exhibit of punk and hardcore greats 1978-1984 at Lethal Amounts in downtown LA. View

Jazz at LACMA

Amoeba teams up with the LA County Museum of Art for a series of free jazz concerts every Friday night through November. View

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Live at Amoeba

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Check out 7 Seconds frontman Kevin Seconds play a great acoustic set of songs from his recent solo album. Off Stockton. 

Upcoming Shows

ODESZA

September 22nd 6pm - Hollywood

King Tuff

September 23rd 6pm - Hollywood

Slimkid3 & DJ Nu-Mark

September 25th 6pm - Hollywood

ROTATIONS: Dirty Dave

September 26th 8pm - Hollywood

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Music We Like

Great Deals on Handpicked Titles!

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El Pintor (CD)

Interpol

It’s great to be able to say with confidence that  El Pintor  is Interpol’s return to form. One of the early aughts’ brightest bands, Interpol’s past couple of releases found the band slipping a bit. Not so with the stirring  El Pintor , which roars out of the gates with “All the Rage Back Home,” which at first sounds like  Antics ’ stately opener, “Next Exit,” cool and atmospheric before going for it with one of their best galloping post-punk jams in ages. Similarly, standout “Ancient Ways” lets Paul Banks and Daniel Kessler spraypaint surging shoegaze guitars all over the place while Sam Fogarino keeps the swaying song afloat. The trio gets sultry for “My Desire,” masterfully layering guitars and weary vocals over Fogarino’s pulsating backbeat. “Same Town New Story” wraps a  Mad Men  episode’s worth of ennui and despair around its buoyant, jazzy riffs. That all may sound like familiar territory, and it largely is, but the quality of the songs here more than makes up for a lack of expansion in Interpol’s sound. And when they do go beyond the dour, fitful post-punk they’re known for, the results can be equally stunning, as when singer Paul Banks rises above his dark croon into a surprisingly effective falsetto on the goth Beach Boys-style “My Blue Supreme” and cathartic pop-rock of “Everything Is Wrong.” Interpol, how we’ve missed you.

Sacred Harp And Shape Note Singing (1922-1950s) [Box Set] (CD)

Various Artists

In the 1800s shape notes (a less complex method of musical notation) helped create an easy pathway to choral singing and a unique, moving style that is unearthed in these beautifully cleaned-up field recordings.

The Dave Clark Five and Beyond: Glad All Over (DVD)

The Dave Clark Five

Features rare footage of the band plus newly filmed interviews with Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and more, along with Tom Hanks’ speech at the band’s induction to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

This Is My Hand (CD)

My Brightest Diamond

Onetime Sufjan Stevens collaborator and now a formidable art-pop songstress in her own right, My Brightest Diamond (aka Shara Worden) pushes her songs further into accessibility with  This Is My Hand . The sound of the record finds Worden singing over playful orchestrations, wielding her operatically trained voice slowly like a great and powerful weapon. “Pressure” begins with a drumline cadence and marching band horns, drawing soul out of her sometimes austere vocals and layering them over the song’s sexy strut “Before the Words’” huge, propulsive drum beat and jazzy bassline pair nicely with her hauntingly cooed vocals. Though she mines gold at playing the witchy vamp, it’s great, too, when she climbs out of her shell. “I am a lover and a killer” she sings with growing ferocity over a muscular groove on “Lover Killer,” finding inspiration in Prince and kinship in St. Vincent. “This is what love feels like!” she sings before unleashing a desperate wolf cry in “I Am Not the Bad Guy,” with a throbbing menace reminiscent of Radiohead, or a more friskier version of  Third -era Portishead. Tracks with more open space, like “Looking at the Sun,” offer a chance for her divaesque vocals to come through beautifully, even as her words are foreboding (“wrestling with a double mine like two horses pulling both sides,” she sings creepily over Disney-level orchestration). “You never know minute to minute where I’m going” she sings tantalizingly on “Shape.” True. But that’s what makes listening to  This Is My Hand  so thrilling.

Brill Bruisers (CD)

The New Pornographers

The New Pornographers are back in a big way with Brill Bruisers . While the band’s past couple of outings have struggled to match the energy of their roof-burning early work, Brill Bruisers comes roaring out of the gate right away with AC Newman’s School House Rock-style title track. Neko Case takes the lead on a few sublime tracks, like the scenic “Champions of Red Wine,” while Destroyer’s Dan Bejar’s songs carry just that right amount of oddity to make the whole album a bit more magical, as on the swirling new wave of “War on the East Coast.” Songs like “Family Fools” are some of their best Fleetwood Mac-style aural dreamscapes of layered vocals and lush synths, and gorgeous harmonies abound, as on the pretty “Backstairs.” Occasionally New Pornographers fall into the trap of their songs being more clever than emotional, but even still, those songs keep you interested by finding new ways to approach the same old power-pop, using vocal aerobics on “Hi-Rise” and giving a lovely sentiment some quizzical melodicism for added depth on “You Tell Me Where.” It’s perhaps their strongest work since high-water mark Twin Cinema , a return-to-form that longtime fans will no doubt find to be a perfect end-of-summer gift from the gods.

Heigh Ho (CD)

Blake Mills

Surprisingly seasoned at just 26, avant-Americana guitar wiz Blake Mills is best known for his work with Fiona Apple (who also shows up here, along with Jon Brion), as well as with Neil Diamond, Band of Horses and Alabama Shakes. These are tough, reverberant anthems, with distinctive production that's at once stark and scintillating, not unlike later Tom Waits albums. His guitar work is bold and heavy, with the vintage twang of Daniel Lanois or Neil Young, and his voice breaks with stinging honesty. Fans of dusty desert alterno-blues will find that Mills rambles with the best in the pack, from Cass McCombs to Tinariwen, Chris Robinson to Will Oldham. Just when he seems to be ripping into a late night whiskey gospel ballad, a wave of billowy ELO-style orchestration washes up and drenches it all in an aquamarine shimmer. There's a great musicality here, and a sonic pallet rich enough to dive deep into.

Another Language (CD)

This Will Destroy You

On This Will Destroy You’s third album, the Texas band continues to refine its sound while delivering explosive post-rock tunes. “New Topia” is austere and atmospheric, until Jeremy Galindo and Chris King’s guitars erupt into heavily effected pyrotechnics, while Donovan Jones drilling bassline and Alex Bhore’s bashing cymbals drive the song downward so it’s grounded to the core. “Serpent Mound” follows suit, its synth and piano tones and guitar noises floating without a beat for half the song before the song’s sonorous second half lurches foraward—the effect is like a peaceful deep-ocean dive that turns up a mammoth sea beast. Thankfully, TWDY don’t rely on this exact dynamic too much— Another Language  works because its songs move like waves, uneven and unexpected in their swells of sound, as the seven-minute “War Prayer” holds you rapt with its builds and releases. Though they don’t quite break the post-rock mold, TWDY mine such power out of the formula that you won’t really care—and when they try, as on the marching, easily digestible “Invitation,” you find yourself trusting that this is a band that knows what works and what doesn’t. With their searing, beautiful guitars and rippling drums, This Will Destroy You make you feel like you’re floating and seeing the earth pass beneath you.  Another Language  is a fantastic post-rock trip.

Adrian Thaws (CD)

Tricky

Trip-hop pioneer Tricky returns with his 11th studio release,  Adrian Thaws,  named after his given name. “Calling it Adrian Thaws is saying you don’t really know me,” says the artist. “So many times people have tried to put a finger on me and every album I go to a different place.” There is some real truth there. Where other artists often opt for the latest trends, Tricky has always managed to create something new without losing himself.  Adrian Thaws  is no exception. With contributions from Mykki Bianco, Bella Gotti, Tirzah, and Francesca Belmonte, the tracks here range from dark soul to experimental hip-hop to dreamy soundscapes, all combined with Tricky’s inventive production. The result is a darkly sexy and atmospheric sonic jewel.

Good To Be Home (CD)

Blu

Blu’s seventh LP is a complex love letter to his hometown of L.A. and the G-funk of his youth, hot off last year’s excellent York .

Just Enough Hip To Be Woman (CD)

Broncho

Whoa this is fun stuff! These guys have a sunny spontaneity and cheap pop rock fizz that reminds me of the Strokes or the Modern Lovers or the Clean. Oklahoma power pop dudes play bouncy, classic-sounding '80s trash that would sound pretty good on a John Hughes movie soundtrack. "Class Historian" has the deceptively simple hooks and harmonies of any Cars or Roxy Music bubbleglam, but it's just trashy enough to be made by millenials on the go. Broncho gives you the roller rink riffs, and stints not on the ooh oohs and the sha-la-las. Like Pavement, they are great pop craftsmen, but they keep it sounding delightfully cruddy.

Ices (CD)

Lia Ices

Singer/songwriter Lia Ices creates a virtual tapestry of sultry vocals, worldbeat touches and languid synthesizers on her third album. Tracks like “Tell Me” bounce on digitally smudged loops of eclectic noise and clashing percussion, while Ices’ voice chirps and coos above. Loose acoustic guitars jangle and imitate sitars on “Thousand Eyes” while Ices sings casually, vocals dripping with reverb. It’s a voice and style that recalls Kate Bush and Cocteau Twins’ Liz Fraser, especially on the sublime dream-pop of “Love Ices Over.” Occasionally she drowns herself out in reverb (which usually sounds great, but also muffles a voice this soulful), and her singsongy vocals all but shake you into submission on songs like “Higher.”  Ices  is better the more it chills out—a song like the “Electric Arc” builds majestically and doesn’t ask much of you but delivers in spades and leaves its primal, exotic melodies swimming in your head. Fascinating in its construction without ever coming across as academic,  Ices  is addictively fun art-pop.

At Best Cuckold (CD)

Avi Buffalo

Long Beach’s Avi Buffalo graduates to the big leagues with  At Best Cuckold . Opening track “So What” reveals gleaming guitars and casual brattiness that shows Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg and his band cleaning up some of the psych clutter from their great debut record in favor of a streamlined sound, but they’re still weirdos at heart. Serpentine lullaby “Memories of You” softly jangles with country-rock guitars, proggy touches and funny lyrics like “bitch I’m on fire…I’m a cheeseball on fire.” It speaks to the band’s ability to reference classic bands while putting out their own vibe. It’s hard to pull off a “Here Comes a Regular”-style vulnerable acoustic-guitar song like “Two Cherished Understand,” and Avi Buffalo does it by keeping it short, sweet and ultimately unique. Part of that uniqueness comes from Zahner-Isenberg’s way with a non sequitur—“I ran over two dogs, then I ate them after,” he admits amid a fizzy Western backdrop on “Think It’s Gonna Happen Again.” And he gives the best breakup line of the year on “Oxygen Tank,” singing, “A man carrying an oxygen tank is gonna come kill me and my family too if I don’t stop seeing you.” The Flaming Lips comparison still haunts them a bit, yet these songs have personality for days, so who cares, ultimately. “These birds seem so fucking free/they're nothing compared to me” Zahner-Isenberg sings faux-sweetly on “Overwhelmed With Pride,” and it’s tough not to believe him.

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Come hear the new Aphex Twin album Syro at our stores Sunday, Sept 21 at 3pm before it's released 9/23 on Warp Records. Details.

Vinyl Vaults

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The 80's wouldn't have been the 80's without the Synclavier digital synthesizer, originally developed at Dartmouth College. This record, demonstrating some of the possibilities and features of the then-new Synclavier II...