Amoeblog

Smile-- It's Boris!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 29, 2008 11:11am | Post a Comment

You gotta love Boris. They’re one of those bands who are so consistently good at what they do that a sizable bulk of their fans will forever find themselves buying anything and everything they can get their hands on. Because of their penchant for limited releases and gorgeous packaging,  plus the usual import price tag -- ouch, Boris collectors have it pretty rough no matter how you slice it.

While we cannot blame Boris for wanting to deliver the very best of their artistic capabilities in the most aesthetically pleasing manner possible, it seems a shame that they seem to sacrifice the availability of their talents to the full scope of their fan-base. That being the case, I have to say, and please excuse the inherent perversity of the statement, God bless Southern Lord for bringing Boris accessibly and affordably to the states.

The band’s latest release, entitled Smile, is nothing short of what any Boris fan would expect from the genius rock-smiths the trio have proven themselves to be. For familiarized ears it is, neatly put, every Boris album you’ve ever heard divided by your four favorite Boris songs, figuring in new collaborations with Ghost’s Michio Kurihara and Stephen O’Malley of sunn0))).  Sound redundant? Don’t be silly: Boris knows no redundancy when it comes to rocking your face off, nor any limits, for that matter.

It begins as a slow, menacing rumble, suggesting the gathering of thunder-clouds clamoring to assault your naked ears, but what follows is a rather straight cover of PYG’s "Flower Sun Rain," except that it sounds something like a watercolor interpretation of the song; it’s as if PYG’s original, decidedly heavy folk-rock song is a solid ink splotch which Boris deliberately drenches. The song bleeds its sound slowly, heart-wrenchingly, toward the alarmingly sudden gleeful sound of a little girl laughing and -- BOOM! -- just like that, we’re reminded that Boris began as a punk band. The “danger zone” triptych of "BUZZ-IN," "Laser Beam," and "Statement" seem to jive sonically with the fighter jet depicted in the cover art; the three songs writhe frantically and unpredictably as the players shred through one frenzy to the next, dredging up comparisons from G.B.H. to Venom with some ol’ fashioned, heavy “hair” metal thrown in for dirty-good measure.   Here's the video for "Statement":

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Triclops! Out of Africa

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 25, 2008 11:09am | Post a Comment

Including members from The Fleshies, Lower Forty-Eight, BottIes & Skulls and Victim's Family, Triclops! has released its first full-length album on Alternative Tentacles, entitled Out of Africa.  I thought there might be some implicit comment on Isaak Dinesen's classic novel, but after listening I can't be quite sure.  If the reference is there, it's layered in the pound for pound sonic boom and San Francisco punk infusion that makes up their compositional prog/metal-ish sound.  Described as "Jane's Addiction jamming with Primus," it is a sound you must hear to believe.

You can hear Triclops! tonight at their free instore at Amoeba San Francisco!  Click here for details.


Anyway, back to the record: at first listen you might not notice the intricacies of sound; spanning from volatile to formal to dynamic explorations, Triclops! offer you a cross section of ever-sprawling musical genres such as Experimental, Metal, Punk and modern Prog.  When it's all said and done, Triclops! make you feel like a party to whatever is happening on the Dali meets Disney cover painting by Lee Harvey Roswell

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Record Store Day is Today!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 19, 2008 12:48am | Post a Comment
Today is that special holiday Record Store Day, where indie record stores across America offer you, our customers, treats that only proper indie record stores can offer! 

In addition to special Record Store Day-only sales, we here at Amoeba San Francisco will be offering a free goodie bag stuffed with swag while supplies last with purchase!  Also available tomorrow, artists such as Death Cab for Cutie, REM, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks,  Black Keys, and Vampire Weekend have created super rad vinyl-only releases to celebrate the occasion, and you can pick 'em up here!

Here in San Francisco we will have Jello Biafra manning the Information Counter from 4-5pm!  You can come by and ask him about Alternative Tentacles releases, or what his favorite country album is!  We will also have DJ sets by DJ Smash, V. Vale, and Aaron Axelson of  LIVE 105.  Check out this page on our website for more SF info.  For information about what will be happening at the Berkeley store, you can check out this page right here.  And for the happenings in the Hollywood store, click here.

It's only been 21 years ...

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 19, 2008 12:03am | Post a Comment


On this Saturday, I'm going into my closest Amoeba Music, and I'm buying a CD. For the same reason I am going into my local bookstore to get an art book from them: I look around our communities, and I am tired of empty store fronts. So on days like this, when I think of the people at all these locally owned and independent record stores, my heart warms. Local jobs, here in our neighborhoods, keeping the flavor of life vibrant.

There's lots to do today in all the Amoebas, here's a link to check out the cool stuff. If you're not in California, check out the official website for RECORD STORE DAY. No matter what, you'll find something cool and beautiful. Just like you.


Paul McCartney :

There’s nothing as glamorous to me as a record store. When I recently played Amoeba in LA, I realised what fantastic memories such a collection of music brings back when you see it all in one place. This is why I’m more than happy to support Record Store Day and I hope that these kinds of stores will be there for us all for many years to come. Cheers!


Joan Jett
The indie record stores are the backbone of the recorded music culture. It's where we go to network, browse around, and find new songs to love. The stores whose owners and staff live for music have spread the word about exciting new things faster and with more essence than either radio or the press. Any artist that doesn't support the wonderful ma and pa record stores across America is contributing to our own extinction.

The Breeders Release Moutain Battles!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 8, 2008 01:06pm | Post a Comment

The Breeders
are a force of nature (no pun intended)!  I wasn’t sure that they could up the ante after 2002’s Title TK, which I thought might have been the most perfect album ever and seemed to pick up right where Pod left off.  To my great pleasure, they certainly have created an incredible album in every respect, possibly the best album of young 2008-- Mountain Battles.  Blasting off with “Overglazed,” you are taken to another planet where The Breeders guide you through sonic terrain only they can offer.

Mountain Battles is the culmination of many years of recording on and off with the assistance of the likes of Steve Albini, Erika Larson, and Manny Nieto in Los Angeles, Chicago and Dayton, Ohio, and comes complete with incredible design and of course classic 4AD aesthetics and style as a whole.  Mastered at Abbey Road “because I’m going from half-inch tape directly to vinyl, there’s only a couple of places in the world that still do half-inch directly to the cutting of the acetate,” as Kim has explained.  You can hear the passion and dedication to the art of record making in every single track of the album. Joining Kim and Kelley Deal (vocals, guitar) are drummer Jose Medeles and bassist Mando Lopez (of Fear), who played on TitleTK.

The namesake track “Mountain Battles” is somehow oddly reminiscent of Nico's Desertshore and Low-era David Bowie.  The avant-garde composition works its magic whilst Kim croons “My wilting heart does shadow on the moon/ Fantastic view/ Thinking of things to do.”  As a matter of fact, you can hear bits and pieces from decades of music history in the mere 36.5 minutes of the duration of the album.  A few rise to the surface immediately – Jimi Hendrix, Isaac Hayes, Roy Orbison, The Pretenders, Wire... Isn’t this the stuff of which great music is made?  Here one might want to consider the fact that the “All Wave” recording method was used in conjunction with on the fly mixing during mastering for a total analog dream sound end product.  This “pure sound” method is opposed to using any form of digital recording manipulation and sound can be seen as a music making strategy or style parallel to the realist film movement Dogme 95.  Ladies and gentlemen: sit back, relax, close your eyes and enjoy the masterwork that is Mountain Battles

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