Amoeblog

The Dark, Sexy Sound of Minneapolis' Polica

Posted by Rachael McGovern, August 1, 2012 06:36pm | Post a Comment
Polica A good friend of mine from Minneapolis introduced me to a local band called Poliça earlier this year via a performance video from Minnesota public radio station The Current. I loved the song (the name "Wandering Star" also caught my attention as it's the name of one of my favorite Portishead songs), but what really got my attention was the double drummers!

But I have to admit I didn't follow through to discover more about the band until I went back to Minnesota this spring. I heard Poliça on the radio there and responded to the music again, this time vowing to listen to the whole album when I came home. Which I did, on repeat.


The band consists of vocalist Channy Leaneagh (formerly Channy Casselle), bassist Chris Bierden and drummers Ben Ivascu and Drew Christopherson. But the other important person involved with the band is not technically a band member. Instrumentalist Ryan Olson, who was in Gayngs with Leaneagh, helped shape the band from its very start. The two started working on songs together, with Olson providing electronic beats and Leaneagh singing the melodies, even before there were actual words and lyrics. Then Olson brought in Beirden to lay down bass lines, and contacted Ivascu and Christopherson about being the new band's drummers. Together, they became Poliça.

A few things strike you right away when you listen to their music. One is that Leaneagh's vocals are manipulated by effects pedals and auto-tune, which she says adds drama and allows her voice to be viewed more as an instrument. The second, is the overall mood of the album - dark, slightly aggressive, and beautiful. And slinky, if that could be considered a mood. See the video for "Lay Your Cards Out" as an example.

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Behind the Scenes: Dave Gahan, Rich Machin and Serj Tankian

Posted by Rachael McGovern, July 27, 2012 05:40pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Hollywood was buzzing with some recent "What's In My Bag?" guests.

Serj Tankian HarakiriFirst, we had Serj Tankian, solo artist and frontman for System of a Down. He was particuarly interested in film music, including composers Ennio Morricone and John Williams. His choices were mostly from the jazz room, although he did select a Sigur Ros album and Mondo Cane by his friend Mike Patton. Serj actually came in that day inquiring about the experimental section which is now located in the jazz room, so technically Mondo Cane is also a jazz room pick. As for the rest of his picks and what he said about each one, you'll have to wait for the video!

Serj just announced a North American tour in support of his new solo album, Harakiri. You can see him live in Los Angeles September 28 at Club Nokia.
 

Serj Tankian at Amoeba Hollywood

New "What's In My Bag?" Video with Bob Odenkirk

Posted by Rachael McGovern, July 19, 2012 04:25pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba.com just posted a new "What's In My Bag?" video with funnyman Bob Odenkirk, a.k.a. Saul Goodman ("Better Call Saul!") on the AMC television show Breaking Bad.

The actor and comedian was visiting Amoeba Hollywood to host our April charity auction and took some time to do a little shopping for The Shins' Port of Morrow and Elvis Costello's Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook, plus La Haine and The Royle Family DVDs.


Bob Odenkirk goes shopping at Amoeba Hollywood.

Big congratulations are also in order to the cast and crew of Breaking Bad which was just today nominated for 13 Emmys, including Outstanding Drama and Outstanding Lead Actor.

Better Call Saul

New Albums Coming from Yeasayer and Bloc Party

Posted by Rachael McGovern, July 18, 2012 05:07pm | Post a Comment
YeasayerYeasayer's third album, Fragrant World, is being released August 21 on Secretly Canadian. On Fragrant World, the band continues to embrace electronic instruments and effects, with hardly any guitar presence. In many ways, it's a progression from the sound of their sophomore album Odd Blood, an album I much prefer over their debut, All Hour Cymbals (as fellow Amoeblogger Billy Gil mentioned in his recent post).

Chris Keating, Ira Wolf-Tuton and Anand Wilder recorded Fragrant World in Brooklyn, (side note: for some reason I have it in my mind that Yeasayer is an Australian band and have to constantly remind myself that they are, in fact, New Yorkers). Keating recently told Under the Radar that he was listening to a lot of R&B while working on the album and "wanted to make a record that was legitimately, to use a bad word, funky." That is music to my booty-shaking ears. He also went on to describe it as "Sci-fi Pam Grier music," which made my booty stop shaking and instead looked a tad quizzical. But my booty and I will hold out final judgment until we can listen to the entire album. So far I've only heard "Henrietta," which Amoeba.com offers as a free download (get it here), and "Longevity" (video below), but I love both of those tracks already. And I can kind of see what he meant with the Sci-fi Pam Grier comparison.

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Fourth of July at Amoeba Hollywood: Food, Prizes & Tunes

Posted by Rachael McGovern, July 4, 2012 04:00pm | Post a Comment
Fourth of July started out overcast and slightly cool in Hollywood, but by about 12:15pm the clouds burned off and the sun came shining through, just in time for the festivities to start at Amoeba Hollywood. We strategically hid "golden tickets" in plastic easter eggs around the store, each filled with a prize such as a free Amoeba gift certificate, free chair massage by our go-to masseuse Terrence, free caricatures from Rene and April, or a free Amoeba t-shirt. Not to mention lots and lots of coupons for free ice cream and free hot dogs, courtesy of two food trucks visiting Amoeba today: Dogtown Dogs and The Good Times Ice Cream Truck.

Our own DJ Continental Song-gress spun records in the afternoon, providing the star-spangled soundtrack for our busy shoppers taking advantage of the last day of our massive poster sale and hunting for golden tickets.

Hollywood closes early tonight (at 7pm) but we'll be back open on Thursday, July 5 at 10:30am. Have a happy and safe holiday!

DJ Continental Song-gress at Amoeba
Note DJ Continental Song-gress's stylish, one of a kind hat hand-stitched by our very own Daniel!

4th of july golden ticket at amoeba
Strategically hidden golden tickets (a.k.a. easter eggs).

Dogtown Dogs at Amoeba

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