The year is quickly winding down. Somehow Halloween is over and today is Thanksgiving. Both of these holidays just make me think of Roseanne. Most things I can somehow relate to some TV program! Roseanne is known for some fantastic Halloween episodes but they also have their share of great Thanksgiving episodes. I got to watch two of them last night before I dozed off to sleep on Thanksgiving eve. They showed the episode with the brilliant Shelley Winters as Roseanne's Grandmother. Her character pretends to be senile but everyone is on the joke except for her daughter, played by Estelle Parsons. Darlene gets out of coming home by pretending to have to go visit her boyfriend David, even though she is secretly already living with him. Jackie is about to have her baby and her mom is playing tricks on her by pretending to dislike the father of her baby so she might decide to date him. Dan is mad at Becky's boyfriend Mark for marrying his daughter when she was so young. We also find out a secret in this episode -- that Roseanne's mom got pregnant before she was married. Roseanne was one of those shows with an amazing supporting cast. I can't get through the holidays without my Roseanne. I really thought they would give us a Roseanne DVD box set by now but looks like I have to wait another year. We did get the Golden Girls box set this year, so I shouldn't complain. I still haven't decided if I need a replica of Sophia's purse in my DVD collection...but it might be too hard to resist! Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Hopefully your families are as hilarious and welcoming as the cast of Roseanne and The Golden Girls. But if not, you always have TV to escape into.
The year may be quickly approaching its end but there are still a ton of new albums out in these last couple of weeks. Not a whole lot coming out after this week but there has been some great stuff to finish off our year. I really fell in love with Captured Tracks this year. The label is run out of Brooklyn, New York. They have managed to release two of my favorite albums of the year -- the debut album from WIld Nothing came out a couple of months ago. I fell in love immediately with Gemini. Aaron Detroit beat me to the review back in June. Gemini will most likely be my album of the year but it does have some tough competition. There really have been some great albums this year. You will have to check back in a couple of weeks for my full top 50 of the year! Wild Nothing has also given us the perfect holiday gift; I would have been perfectly content with Gemini -- I really could have waited until next year for anything else from them, so it was a nice surprise when I found out a new EP called Golden Haze was coming out this month. It really is almost a whole new album with 6 new tracks. Golden Haze is the perfect title for an album like this. You will find more of the shoegaze style, dreamy & gloomy songs that you found on his debut album. It maybe was too warm when that first album came out. The super chilly months of winter are much more appropriate for an album like this. Fans of The Cure and New Order should not pass up these albums.
Listen to "Quiet Hours" by Wild Nothing from the new EP Golden Haze...
Buy the album Golden Haze by Wild Nothing
I was a big fan of the Blank Dogs last year. They put out the album Under & Under on In the Red Records. It ended up as #50 on my top 50 last year but this doesn't mean that I like the other 49 albums so much more. It really is impossible to rank all those albums. I work hard on figuring out my top ten but after that I really am just making sure I have my other top 40 in there somewhere. I am not paying too much attention to where they go. It is sort of funny that Blank Dogs might be in the #1 spot this year. This album also seemed to come out of nowhere. The new album, Land & Fixed, came out a couple of weeks ago. It is also on Captured Tracks and it really is that good -- I can't stop listening to it. Some of my favorites this year have a sort gloomy shoegaze sort of sound to them. This album isn't too different from the new Abe Vigoda. The album manages to sound like some early 80's neglected new wave album but at the same time they don't sound dated or retro. They sound like something completely new and fresh at the same time as sounding like one of your old favorite cassettes. Blank Dogs is basically Mike Sniper. He is the man behind what may be my favorite album of the year. I don't expect everyone to fall in love with this album. I don't think Blank Dogs will ever get as popular as bands like The National or Interpol, but they really should. It is not an easy thing to make an album that is both super dark and gloomy but also super catchy and pop sounding. The songs are like a mellowed out lo-fi version of a really good Cure song. Maybe with some Joy Division mixed in there. I do really love this record. I can't stop listening to it. It is just like I couldn't stop listening to the latest Ariel Pink album. I always want to keep listening to albums over and over again when they are this good.
Listen to "Northern Islands" by Blank Dogs from the new album Land & Fixed...
Buy the new album Land & Fixed by Blank Dogs
The National already released the fantastic High Violet earlier this year but the new expanded version is out this week. The band is hoping to turn Black Friday into Violet Friday with the release of this album. You can get it for only $7.98 at indie stores across the country. The crazy cheap price is available for one week only. The deluxe version comes with a whole bonus disc with alternate versions, live tracks, b-sides, & new songs. I am still not sure this band will ever be able to equal the brilliance of their album The Boxer but you really should also own this new album if you don't already. You can also buy it on our website for this price for the week only.
Listen to "You Were A Kindness (Studio Version)" by The National from the new Expanded Edition of High Violet...
Buy the new Expanded Edition of High Violet by the The National for only $7.98
This has also been a big couple of weeks for Hip-Hop and Soul music. I am still a bit disappointed with the new Rihanna album but Kanye West and Nicki Minaj have given us two amazing new albums to get us through the holidays. I have always loved Kanye West. I think I even liked him more when he tried to take away Taylor Swift's VMA. OK, he didn't actually try to take it away...but it would have been brilliant if he snatched it out of her hands and told the world that she has no real talent. Still, I think Kanye knew what he was doing. He knew how far he could push it. Not everybody loved his last album from 2008 but I was a big fan of 808's & Heatbreak. I do actually think that Kanye deserves to be as popular as he is. I wouldn't say that about very many popular artists. His new album, out this week, is called My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The cover artwork for the album is really one of my favorites. At first you just see a sort of classic painting of a ballerina. It looks like it could be the new album by Joni Mitchell or Paul Simon. But then you realize the ballerina has a moustache and looks a bit surprised. Maybe embarrassed to be caught wearing a tutu. Is Kanye's dark fantasy that he wishes he could dance with Tom Selleck in a tutu in The Nutcracker or Swan Lake? The deluxe version of the album looks like a fancy Christmas card with a little window in the front. I think the album's cover is actually kind of classic and I can't stop looking at it. I knew I would probably be liking this Kanye album before I even first heard it. I really have liked everything he has done and I was excited to hear the album after his amazing performance on SNL a couple of weeks ago. You either like Kanye or you don't. I don't think this album will really sway the people who don't already like him but I am glad to have a new Kanye record in my collection. I need to go spend some quality time with it and really get to know it.
Listen to "Runaway" by Kanye West from the new album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy...
Buy the new album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
The new Nicki Minaj album is also finally out this week. As much as I am liking the new Kanye album, this Nicki Minaj album is also really good, just full of catchy songs. You really can't not love Nicki Minaj...at least I can't. I have been hearing a lot about her for a while now but I was patiently waiting for the album to come out to get my first introduction to her. I've always been a fan of Eve, Missy Elliott and Lil' Kim so it is no surprise that I will be loving this new album. The new Kanye West, of course, features Nicki MInaj and the new Nicki Minaj features Kanye West. (A bit more surprising is that the new Kanye West features Bon Iver.) Nicki Minaj was born in Trinidad & Tobago but was raised in New York. At first look you might think you are going to get an album like Lady Gaga or Katy Perry but this is not what you should be expecting. In honor of Black Friday, she has named her album Pink Friday. Black Friday is tomorrow and both The National and Nicki Minaj are hoping that everyone buys there new albums. All of these albums are already selling well but the new Kanye West album will for sure be the best selling album of the weekend here at the Hollywood Amoeba. Nicki Minaj is offering him some tough competition though! We really have needed a Nicki MInaj for a while now. There really hasn't been a huge female Hip Hop star in a while now. It will be a novelty for some but I really do love this album. It will be hard to resist singing along with these songs in your car. Or at least in my car!
Listen to "I'm the Best" by Nicki Minaj from the new album Pink Friday...
Buy the new album Pink Friday by Nicki Minaj
We have been working hard on AMOEBA.COM for a while now. Next year we will have a whole new sort of site for you to browse and buy stuff from. But for now, in honor of Thanksgiving and Black Friday we are giving you a new buy stuff section! There will be new stuff added on here every day. And yes...we finally have used albums listed on our website! Aaaaand yes...you can finally browse by genre! You can find the new Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Wild Nothing and Blank Dogs and you can also find a used copy of the Suspiria Soundtrack by Goblin on vinyl! Go enjoy your day off with family and food and TV, and tomorrow if you feel like staying home and avoiding the craziness of retail, you should check out our new section. Buy Stuff!
also out 11/9...
Tour of the Universe by Depeche Mode
Police Water by Gary War
**** by The Greenhornes
Pyramid of the Sun by Maserati
Industrial Complex by Nitzer Ebb
Strychnine Dandelions by The Parting Gifts
Shore Obsessed by Soft Circle
Sometimes the Blues is Just a Passing Bird by Tallest Man on Earth
Sports by Weekend
also out 11/16...
Tapes by Big Pink
Heart Ache & Dethroned by Jesu
Promise by Bruce Springsteen
Not Music by Stereolab
also out 11/22...
Broken Dreams Club by The Girls
Pretty Hate Machine (reissue) by Nine Inch Nails
Coals to Newcastle by Orange Juice
Senior by Royksopp
Innerspeaker by Tame Impala