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10 Up-and-Coming Artists You Should Get to Coachella Early For

Posted by Billy Gil, April 9, 2014 09:16am | Post a Comment

We’re all excited about OutKast reuniting for Coachella. And who doesn’t love seeing The Knife or Arcade Fire? But there are plenty of just-under-the-radar bands playing the two-weekend festival (April 11-13 and 18-20). Here’s our list of 10 bands it’s worth getting there early for. (And by the way, Coachella set times have been announced.)

 

Flatbush Zombies

Friday at 12:25 p.m.

flatbush zombiesPart of the “Beast Coast” movement, the Brooklyn hip-hop group proves the music scene there is more than just a bunch of skinny white dudes with guitars. The acid-rap group debuted its Wu-Tang-inspired rhymes on this year’s It’s All a Matter of Perspective EP and a handful of mixtapes, but we’ve yet to see a full album. Be there so you can say you saw them before they blew up.

 

Wye Oak

Friday at 1:05 p.m.

wye oakSimilarly to another Baltimore duo, Wye Oak spin out beautiful tunes highlighted by Jenn Wasner’s husky, emotive vocals. But now the band has moved to Portland and ditched the dreamy guitars entirely, remaking the band’s sound for its upcoming album Shriek, due April 29 on Merge (preorder on LP or CD). The album’s lead single, “The Tower,” is stuttering, strange and alluring art-pop closer to St. Vincent than Beach House.

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Amoeba Partners With Jazz at LACMA

Posted by Billy Gil, April 8, 2014 11:33am | Post a Comment

lacma

When the weather’s nice, L.A. becomes a great place to hear live jazz music in the outdoors.

Every Friday night at 6 p.m. from mid-April to late November, LACMA offers free jazz shows in the lawn area. Amoeba is proud to be a community sponsor of the event.

pete escovedo Pete Escovedo Latin Jazz Orchestra opens the program on Friday, April 18. Featuring legendary percussionist Pete Escovedo, who has performed with Santana, Herbie Hancock and Tito Puente, among others, the performance will pay tribute to pioneering jazz keyboardist George Duke.

The series, which features leading jazz artists from Southern California, continues with Mark Winkler and Cheryl Bentyne April 25; Russell Ferrante & Bob Mintzer Quartet  May 2 and Lesa Terry and Collective Spirit May 9. See the whole list of performers here.

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Album Picks: De Lux, EMA, OFF!, Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks, The Mary Onettes

Posted by Billy Gil, April 8, 2014 08:01am | Post a Comment

De LuxVoyage (LP or CD)

de lux lp amoebaThere’s been a hole in our hearts lately where dance-rock bands of yore used to reside. De Lux fill that hole admirably with immediate, expansive dance rockers that aren’t short on detail or hooks. “Better at Making Time” opens the album subtly, letting its disco bass groove enter four minutes in after giving Sean Guerin’s David Byrne-ish vocals a chance to sink in. “Movements” is a true groover, made up of a bunch of interlocking parts—a simple-yet-effective bassline and guitar lick in lockstep, washy synths and chiming bells—while Guerin’s vocals get wilder and wilder. The duo of multi-instrumentalists Guerin and Isaac Franco let each song breathe and unfold at its own speed, giving it a couple minutes in “I’ve Got to Make a Solid Statement (No More Likes & Ums)” before singing a word so we that Stevie Wonder-style clavinet and spacey effects can soak in. Of course, when they get to it, as on the superb “Love Is a Phase,” the result is a space-disco opus that leaves you head over heels for the band. Though Voyage is stuffed with cool references, they never feel forced or overdone. It feels as though the young band has digested decades of smart party jams and picked the choices parts to make their own thing—though you could compare them to LCD Soundsystem or The Rapture, for instance, on songs like “Make Space,” most of the time De Lux never sound imitative of those bands, as tunes like the interstellar “On the Day” stand completely on their own. It makes Voyage all the more pleasurable, and not at all in a guilty way. Smart disco-punk that makes us dance while satisfying our inner music-snobs? We’ll take it and more, please.

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Amoeba Presents The Drop: Mary Gauthier at the GRAMMY Museum

Posted by Billy Gil, April 7, 2014 11:38am | Post a Comment

mary gauthier amoeba grammy museum

 

Amoeba is proud to present The Drop: Mary Gauthier at the GRAMMY Museum April 21 at 8 p.m. Doors are at 7:30, and tickets are $20; get them here.

As part of The Drop’s new Americana music series, folk artist Gauthier will appear for an interview, moderated by vice president of The GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares, Scott Goldman, after which she’ll perform a set of songs.

Mary Gauthier’s throaty, world-weary voice, gothic-country acoustic guitar playing and detailed storytelling have won her praise from the likes of Bob Dylan and Tom Waits. Though she’s a stoic persona, Gauthier’s music packs an emotional wallop.

mary gauthier trouble & love cd amoebaHer story goes back to being an adopted child and teenage runaway. Gauthier first found shelter amongst drug addicts and drag queens. Though she eventually came to be a chef with her own restaurant, a crippling heroin addiction threatened her success and led to her arrest.

Now sober, Gauthier traded her chef’s apron for a guitar—she didn’t write her first song until her mid-30s, for all you late bloomers out there—and the six albums she’s released have been critically acclaimed, with 2005’s Mercy Foundling garnering the Americana Music Association's New/Emerging Artist of the Year distinction, and 2011’s The Foundling being named the No. 3 Record of the Year by the Los Angeles Times.

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Album Picks: Mac DeMarco, Cloud Nothings, Inventions

Posted by Billy Gil, April 1, 2014 10:31am | Post a Comment

Mac Demarco - Salad Days (LP, CD or Download)

mac demarco salad days amoebaMac DeMarco wrongly gets called “slacker rock.” At only 23 he’s releasing his third album, and it’s one of the best things we’ve heard all year. The title track is a swaying, gleefully glum blues track, its charming, singalong quality masking some quarterlife crisis (“Always feeling tired, smiling when required/write another year off and kindly resign,” suggesting some darkness behind DeMarco’s goofy grin). “Brother” features DeMarco sumptuously singing while milky guitars dance beneath the surface. It’s one of the loveliest tunes he’s ever produced. Songs like “Goodbye Weekend,” with its woozy, intoxicating guitar line and lovely jazz tones, speak to what a strong songwriter DeMarco has always been beneath it all. And while he’s all the better for ditching some of the affectations he sported on the still-great Rock and Roll Night Club in favor of a streamlined sound he’s dubbed “jizz jazz,” DeMarco can still pull some conceptually striking songs, like “Passing Out the Pieces,” which uses heavily effected harpsichord and booming synth-bass to create miraculous millennial psychedelia, pulling in some of the good ol’ Beatles/Kinks/Beach Boys influence he’s seemed to (probably smartly) avoid showing thus far in his career. Salad Days shows DeMarco to be a classical songwriter with the ability to turn an amiable, if not immediately memorable, voice and intricate yet mangled guitarwork into tunes that pull at you in unexpected, emotional ways. So he can’t be bothered to shower or cut his hair—we wouldn’t have it any other way.

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