Amoeblog

Album Picks: Low, Cold Beat, Beirut, Shannon & the Clams

Posted by Billy Gil, September 11, 2015 11:38am | Post a Comment

Low Ones & Sixes

low ones sixesSlowcore greats Low add some electronic touches to their spare sound and come out with their best album in years. Mimi Parker’s tender vocals float through space and malfunctioning electronics on haunting opener “Gentle.” Alan Sparhawk leads the band through the Western-tinged “No Comprende,” which ambles along unhurriedly but with a gritty beat and tense, muted guitars. Despite slight changes in the band’s sound, exemplified on the “What Part of Me,” in which Sparhawk and Parker’s vocals waltz over a light synth-pop pulse, Low are still at their best when crafting intensely intimate music that seems to fill huge, empty spaces with overwhelming emotion, such as on the simply stunning “Spanish Translation.” Whether you’re new to Low or just needed a reminder of their greatness, Ones & Sixes does the trick.

 

 

Cold Beat Into the Air

cold beat into the air lpI missed this one last week, but it’s worth mentioning anyway because of how rad it is. Hanna Lew (Grass Widow) releases a second album with her new band, pairing jagged post-punk riffs with coldwave synths and Lew’s floating, layered vocals. The results range from the melodic Blondie-style pop of “Broken Lines” to the pulsating, thrilling “Cracks.” Into the Air works because Lew and co. seem to know what to put into every song, pulling from influences as needed — a little Kraftwerkian rigidity here, a little punk fury there — rather than stuffing it all into every song. As such, Into the Air’s songs stand alone, the towering synth-popper “Spirals” a perfect apotheosis of their various tendencies, and hang together masterfully at the same time.

Continue reading...

Show Recap: Diva at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, September 9, 2015 06:51pm | Post a Comment

diva amoeba hollywoodPhotos by Furn Zavala

Dubbed an "inter-dimensional pop star," Diva has long been one of the most intriguing figures in the L.A. post-punk and minimal wave scene. She showed up at Amoeba Hollywood Sept. 8 to perform songs from her latest release, Divinity in Thee, which is full of imaginitive D.I.Y.-style electro pop gems and was just released on Peanut Butter Wolf's Stones Throw imprint Circle Star

Everything about the performance was transportative. She emerged with a bevy of dancers draped in pastel veils that made them seem like spectral brides, or a neu-age version of the fairies from Sleeping Beauty. She engaged the audience in a legit meditation session, using the correct lingo and everything. To my knowledge, that was an Amoeba first. I have to admit I didn't participate or I would've ended up drooling all over the rock clearance section.  

diva divinity in thee lpAfter getting the audience in touch with their "inner divinity," as she calls it, Diva launched into a track with Indian-inspired dance and vocals, stringing together wonderful phrases like "celestial shrapnel" and "cherubim chakras" (I think) over a minimal electronic backbeat. The dancers' movements revealed shimmer in the dancers' dresses, their otherworldly appearances combining with the airy music to give off a feeling that was both alien and strangely soothing.

Continue reading...

Album Picks: Widowspeak, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, FIDLAR, Lou Barlow, Dam-Funk, Diane Coffee

Posted by Billy Gil, September 4, 2015 12:19pm | Post a Comment

Widowspeak - All Yours

widowspeak all yours lpWidowspeak’s All Yours is just what we need to cool off during this hot, hot summer. The duo’s tunes are cool and meditative, evoking the feeling of watching a fading sunset over the forested hills of New York’s Hudson Valley, where the band resides. Molly Hamilton’s sweet vocals whisper over Robert Early Thomas’ dusky licks and a touch of organ on the sultry title track. The band mostly keeps things spare and dreamy, but they plug in to give tracks like “Dead Love (So Still)” a little raunch, coming off like the Velvet Underground’s third album reimagined as stoner country music. Elsewhere, Hamilton plays Nancy Sinatra to Thomas’ Lee Hazlewood on the sumptuous “Girls,” generating plenty of heat from a spacious, two-chord jam and Hamilton’s narcotic drawl, while “Borrowed World” sees Thomas take the mic for a spry duet (something the band should consider doing more often). Somehow, All Yours is both Widowspeak’s mellowest album and its most exciting. With a sharp focus on songwriting over ambiance and more room for Hamilton’s vocals to shine, they end up with their best, most distinctive album yet.

Continue reading...

Weekly Roundup: Wand, Kelela, Mystic Braves, Tropic of Cancer, Little Wings, Gardens & Villa

Posted by Billy Gil, September 3, 2015 11:08am | Post a Comment

Wand – “Dungeon Dropper”

wand bandEven though the Bay Area’s Wand just released an excellent album in 2015, the heavy psych-poppin’ Golem, they’ve already got another on the way. 1000 Days hits on Sept. 25, and it’s their Drag City debut. We previously heard “Stolen Footsteps,” and now we’ve got “Dungeon Dropper,” a two-minute nimble metallic groover with a thick winding riff that squeezes out psych-rock colors like an anaconda.

 

Kelela – “Rewind”

kelelaL.A. R&B songstress Kelela has a new EP on the way called Hallucinogen, due on her own Cherry Coffee imprint Oct. 9. The song, produced by Kingdom, Nugget and Kelela, is a lot more forthright than those on her excellent Cut 4 Me mixtape, full of freestyle-inspired beats, full-bodied vocals and Janet-esque coquettishness. 

Continue reading...

The 10 Best Wes Craven Movies

Posted by Billy Gil, August 31, 2015 06:10pm | Post a Comment

wes craven movies

We were saddened to hear that acclaimed horror director Wes Craven died over the weekend, succumbing to brain cancer at the age of 76. In honor of the director, whose intelligent horror films are forever burned into the minds of kids born from the ’70s through the ’00s, we’ve compiled our 10 favorite Wes Craven movies. Check out these movies at Amoeba, rewatch your old favorites or catch up on any you haven’t seen.  

10. Shocker (1989; out on Blu-ray Sept. 8)

shocker blu-rayCraven’s attempt to start a new horror franchise following “Nightmare” didn’t quite pan out, but his film about a serial killer sent to the electric chair who becomes a being of pure electricity capable of possession still retains a certain cult cache. The upcoming Blu-ray includes a new commentary track and new interviews, among them with members of bands included on the soundtrack, such as Kiss, Dangerous Toys, Alice Cooper and Megadeth.

Continue reading...
BACK  <<  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  >>  NEXT