Producer David Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev) ends up being the perfect collaborator for Austin’s Spoon on their excellent eighth album. His unmistakable stamp helps the drums explode on rock stomper “Rent I Pay”; he augments the band’s lean indie funk-rock sound with harps and synths on the lovely “Inside Out”; and “Do You’s” loopy spaceiness helps make it the best Britpop song that never was, like late-era Blur on a country kick. Of course, none of the album’s majesty would be possible without the band itself, who co-produce (along with early producer Joe Chiccarelli) and write some of their catchiest tunes to date, and that’s saying something, given that this is the band responsible for earworms like “The Way We Get By.” The band stretches itself to the limits here without straying too far from its core appeal, as songs like the slinky, dark “Outlier” sound unlike anything in the band’s catalog but (pardon the pun) don’t stick out in a bad way. The melodies and arrangements are ace throughout, and frontman Britt Daniel becomes more versatile, engaging in a kind of beatnik singspeak on “Let Me Be Mine” while still unleashing those great, sandpapered pipes to their fullest potential on the chorus of “Do You.” It adds up to one of the best-ever releases from one of the solidest bands in indie rock, a total triumph and utterly welcome return. Spoon will be playing live at Amoeba Hollywood Wednesday Aug. 6 at 6 p.m.!
We’ve told you about the heavy hitters to check out in late summer, but there are always exciting releases bubbling just beneath the surface that are worth your attention as well. Here are five to look out for:
Out Aug. 5
Not that “Twin Peaks.” This one’s a kickass power-pop band from Chicago whose sophomore LP is full of smart, lean songs with a lot of heart. One taste of a song like the two-minute “Flavor” and you might be hooked for life.
Out Aug. 5
|The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Downtown L.A.|
Check out a trailer for Napoleon Dymanite below to refresh your memory about how great this movie is:
On Aug. 8 at The Theatre at Ace will be a screening of the horror-comedy Life After Beth, starring Aubrey Plaza, followed by a performance by Father John Misty. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased here.
Join us for our next awesome Sidewalk Sale, happening Aug. 9 from noon to 5 p.m. just outside Amoeba Hollywood on Sunset Blvd.
Some of the great bargains we’ll have include:
-45s in all genres at three for $1
-DVDs for $3 (or buy three get one free, excluding box sets)
-DVD box sets at $7, or two for $10
-Deals on classical music
-Blu-rays at three for $12
-Books and comics at three for $1
If you haven’t yet made it to an Amoeba Sidewalk Sale, now’s the time. Come down and get some cheap goodies.
Meatbodies – “Tremmors”
The latest great garage-rock band from S.F. delivers an explosion of fuzz riffs and reverbed vocals that cut cleanly through like a scalpel on “Tremmors.” The song is heavy and huge, but it’s handled delicately—the solo could only be described as lightly demonic. I love the way the song switches up to a new fuzzed out set of chords two-thirds of the way through—it’s just icing on the cake. Meatbodies comes from L.A.-based Chad Ubovich, who was Mikal Cronin’s bassist and then guitarist as well as the bassist in Ty Segall’s Fuzz project. Segall previously released some of Ubovich’s home recordings under Chad & The Meatbodies, and now the simply titled Meatbodies album is due soon on In the Red. They’ll be at Echo Park Rising Aug. 16 and The Echo Aug. 28.
Allah-Las – “No Werewolf”