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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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Show Honors Legendary Jazz Drummer Billy Higgins

Posted by Billy Gil, July 15, 2014 01:14pm | Post a Comment

billy higginsBilly Higgins is widely considered one of the most important drummers in rock history. Balancing function and form, Higgins supported such legendary jazz artists as Ornette Coleman, Bo Diddley and Jimmy Witherspoon, serving as the house drummer for Blue Note in the1960s and playing on dozens of albums.

In 1989, Higgins founded cultural center The World Stage in Los Angeles to provide workshops for young musicians in performance and writing. Higgins died in 2001 with an estimable musical legacy behind him.

The World Stage Arts, Education and Performance Gallery will hold its 25th anniversary celebration, Honoring the Legacy of Billy Higgins, at the Ford Theatres Aug. 24, featuring performances by former students and jazz notables including Bennie Maupin, Hubert Laws, Patrice Rushen, Carmen Lundy, Dwight Trible, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and more. Tickets start at $30. Amoeba is proud to be a sponsor of the event, along with KJAZZ.

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Album Picks: Morrissey and Jungle

Posted by Billy Gil, July 15, 2014 10:48am | Post a Comment

Morrissey - World Peace Is None Of Your Business (LP, CD)

morrissey world peace is none of your business lpWorld Peace Is None of Your Business might be Moz’s angriest album yet. Full of bitter political cynicism and social commentary, the album has the feel of a knowing screed by someone who’s seen it all and whose attitude mostly feels justified. Whether he’s detailing the death of a beat poet (“Neal Cassady Drop Dead’s” “everyone has babies, babies full of rabies” line is priceless) or bemoaning the futility of human connection (“you fail as a woman and you lose as a man” he sings in “Earth Is the Loneliest Planet”), Morrissey’s in classic sardonic mode, while musically the band lays on touches of flamenco guitar, a digitized beat here and a harp there, to form a more lush version of the hard-hitting rock sound he’s employed for the latter half of his career. I can't say that I love the title tracks, in which Morrisey's frustration is understood, but its “each time you vote you support the process” seems insensitive to the places and people that have fought long and hard for this right. Still, it’s hard to resist when he’s in his finest form, on tracks like the extended “I’m Not a Man,” in which Morrissey places his militant vegetarianism and pacificism front-and-center as a new form of manhood, reminiscent of his classic line “it takes strength to be gentle and kind,” (from The Smiths’ “I Know It’s Over”) amid glittering synthesizers and glam stomp. For anyone who’s unfairly labeled Morrissey a miserablist in the past, World Peace shows Moz as an elder statesman with his fists clenched and plenty of piss ‘n’ vinegar left in his system. Also, don't forget—Morrissey just had one of his best albums, Vauxhall & I, re-released last month, get that shit.

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Weird Al Spoofs Pharrell's 'Happy,' Will be at Amoeba Hollywood Friday at 5 p.m.

Posted by Billy Gil, July 14, 2014 06:14pm | Post a Comment

weird al yankovic mandatory fun lpIf you’re like us, you grew up jamming to Weird Al” Yankovic spoofs such as “Smells Like Nirvana” and “Amish Paradise.” Ever wonder how he’d take on the current crop of Millennial post-pop or whatever it’s called?

Wonder no more. “Weird Al” has a new album coming out tomorrow called Mandatory Fun, and he’ll be at Amoeba Hollywood signing copies of it from 5 to 8 p.m. this Friday July 18. Also we’ll take your picture with him and post it to Amoeba.com (no instagramming immediately from your phone though, sorry).

The new album features spoofs of songs by Robin Thicke, Iggy Azalea, Lorde, Imagine Dragons and Pharrell Williams, whose megahit “Happy” becomes “Tacky” in Al’s weird hands. Check out the video below (which premiered at Nerdist), featuring such cool people as Kristen Schaal, Jack Black and Margaret Cho:

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