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Album Picks: Alvvays, La Roux, Common, White Fence, The Raveonettes

Posted by Billy Gil, July 22, 2014 09:40am | Post a Comment

Alvvays - Alvvays (LP, CD)

alvvays lpSomewhere between the sunny melancholia of Best Coast, earnest alt-rock of The Cranberries and the college rock of bands like Talulah Gosh lie Toronto's Alvvays. Their debut record is a delight of heartfelt naivete spun out in catchy indie-pop nuggets. Molly Rankin's lovably untrained voice pleads irresistibly on the charming "Archie, Marry Me" amid a four-chord, minor-key jangle. "Don't leave ... we can find comfort in debauchery" Rankin sings with the requisite mix of winking irony and legitimate feeling; taken with the songs lovely synth strings and gently rambling nature, it comes off like future nostalgia for a time that's currently being experienced. Youth may be wasted on the young, but Alvvays make young sadness sound pure and sweet on their debut.

 

La Roux - Trouble In Paradise (LP, CD)

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Spoon Bows 'Do You' Video

Posted by Billy Gil, July 21, 2014 11:37am | Post a Comment
spoon amoeba hollywood
Spoon performing live at Amoeba Hollywood in 2005

Spoon’s well-received new single, “Do You,” has a hot new slow-mo video starring singer Britt Daniels that nicely matches his rambling lyrics and eerie rising and falling vocals. Spoon will play Amoeba Hollywood Aug. 6 at 6 p.m.!

In the video, which premiered at the Urban Outfitters blog for their UO Music Video Series, Daniels plays cabby to a pensive girl in what at first seems like a quiet, contemplative video. Then WTF at around the three-minute mark. I’ll not spoil it for you. You’re just gonna have to watch, and I recommend that you do. Remember MTV’s “breakthrough” videos? (Or any videos on MTV?) Spoon would be all over that shit with this clip, directd by acclaimed music video spoon they want my soul lp amoebaand commercial director Hiro Murai (who’s done videos for such artists as Childish Gambino, Queens of the Stone Age and Cults).

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Byrdsol Talks 'pierreponte,' Album Available to Download Exclusively on Amoeba.com

Posted by Billy Gil, July 21, 2014 08:25am | Post a Comment
byrdsol
Photo: Aida Daneshvar Photography

The new album by byrdsol (aka Burgess Tomlinson) takes the artist’s electronic sound and infuses with a healthy dose of folk heart, giving pierreponte an intriguing duality. On one hand, the music is put together by digital means, beats are introduced halfway through songs and acoustic strums are cut up and mended, yet Tomlinson’s breathy croon and bedroom composition style keeps the music grounded and connected.

The album is currently available as a download exclusively on Amoeba.com, while Tomlinson has started an indiegogo campaign for a physical release. I took a minute to catch up with Tomlinson, who currently works at Amoeba Hollywood, about his latest release.

How long have you been making music? 

Most of my life. I guess I got serious in 9th grade. The music director at my high school put the budget to good use. He built a complete midi studio with an Ensoniq sampling, sequencing, keyboard workstation, and a few now vintage drum machines. You were allowed to sign up for time blocks on your breaks or lunch, as long as you were involved in at least one music class, which I was for four years. I was also taking piano lessons at home and playing a few Casio-type keyboards my dad got me way into the nights. In 10th grade my friends and I started a band called Swirl, in a music-friendly basement. We recorded thtree songs in a local studio and played some extremely high profile arcade gigs at the local mall. 

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Weekly Roundup: Christopher Owens, The Donkeys, The Aislers Set

Posted by Billy Gil, July 18, 2014 12:23pm | Post a Comment

Christopher Owens – “Nothing More Than Everything to Me” video

christopher owensI randomly this week put on Girls’ first album, Album, expecting it to not age as well as it has in the past few years. But it really is the perfect summer album. Since that band’s demised, Girls singer Christopher Owens released an underrated solo album, Lysandre, and now has a new album on its way called A New Testament. The country and gospel touches that were prevalent on his last album and the second Girls album, Father, Son, Holy Ghost, are here but twanged up a bit and honed down to a bite-sized portion, sounding not unlike a cleaner version of something that would’ve been on the breezy Album. See Owens play as house band for a kids’ dance in the video below for “Nothing More Than Everything to Me.”

 

The Donkeys – “Scissor Me Cigs” video

the donkeys ride the black wave lpSan Diego’s The Donkeys produce a melancholic surf rock on their recently released Ride the Black Wave album that suits the sleepy “second city” of Southern California well. The video for “Scissor Me Cigs” showcases another record store, M-Theory of San Diego, as well as the band’s hometown with a kind of hazy Sunday afternoon feel.

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New Jenny Lewis Video Features Anne Hathaway, Brie Larson and Kristen Stewart Gender Bending and Breakdancing

Posted by Billy Gil, July 15, 2014 01:35pm | Post a Comment

jenny lewisJenny Lewis’ video for “Just One of the Guys,” taken from her upcoming new album The Voyager (out on LP and CD July 29, it's up for preorder now), turns its titular idea on its head (literally) with some breakdancing and gender play.

Actresses Anne Hathaway, Brie Larson and Kristen Stewart show up to play as backup in Lewis’ band a la Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” (only a tad less sexist) before donning tracksuits and mustaches and pulling out some B-boy movies.

According to Rollingstone, the new album was written during a tough time for Lewis, following Rilo Kiley’s breakup and the death of her estranged father. She kept busy by writing and touring with the Postal Service, then entered the studio last year with Ryan Adams and his producing partner Mike Viola (Beck also did some production work on the album).

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