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Jazz at LACMA Gives Us Something Cool (and Free) to Do on Friday Evenings

Posted by Billy Gil, May 14, 2014 09:53am | Post a Comment

lacma

Jazz at LACMA continues this spring and into summer with a slate of free jazz shows every Friday evening at 6 p.m. Amoeba is a community sponsor of the series. Check out the whole lineup here.

roberto miranda jazz lacmaSept. 19: Angel City Jazz Festival with Roberto Miranda Band: This festival focuses on both new and established talent, with a focus on the West Coast. It starts with the winner of the Young Artists Competition and continues with bassist/composer Roberto Miranda, who has toured with such artists as Kenny Burrell and Charles Lloyd and teaches the bass for the Jazz Studies Program at UCLA.

kathleen graceSept. 26: Kathleen Grace: Kathleen Grace fuses jazz traditions with the storytelling of American folk tradition in her music, utilizing vocal harmonies, grooves and texture. Here she is performing a beautiful song written by Townes Van Zandt.

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10 Albums to Look for in Late Spring

Posted by Billy Gil, May 13, 2014 04:35pm | Post a Comment

It feels like summer’s already here, but there are still plenty of great releases lined up for the tail end of this spring. Here are 10 we’re looking forward to that you can preorder now.

 

The Roots - …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin (LP, CD)

the roots and then you shoot your cousin lpOut May 19

Before they were Jimmy Fallon’s house band, The Roots were one of the most dynamic and socially conscious groups in hip-hop. “When the People Cheer” reminds us of how great they are as pure rappers, and it’s got a cool stop-motion video to boot.

 

Conor OberstUpside Down Mountain (LP, CD)

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Album Picks: Swans, Amen Dunes, La Sera, Little Dragon, Sean Nicholas Savage

Posted by Billy Gil, May 13, 2014 10:48am | Post a Comment

Swans - To Be Kind (LP, Two-CD Set, Deluxe Two-CD/DVD Set, Download)

swans to be kind lpSwans records are more like happenings, unforgettable experiences you have to sit down and pay attention to. The two-hour To Be Kind, released 21 months after the similarly epic The Seer, is no exception. Sounds wriggle, writhe and heave on the hilariously titled “Screen Shot,” but Swans also seem to have more control than ever—these sounds are speaking to one another, albeit in some unspoken language, not creating a cacophony. The effect can be paralyzing. Listening to “Just a Little Boy (For Chester Burnett)” feels like staring into the darkest night, accompanied by a country sway and Michael Gira’s chants, which grow suddenly violent—“I’m just a little boy!” he cries repeatedly, while the guitars bellow and sigh with increasing pronunciation and sampled laughter ups the creep factor into Lynch territory. Gira growls “I need love” like it’s a threat. Meanwhile, “A Little God in my Hands” is Swans’ version of a pop song—thumping percussion (think Tom Waits) meets multiple voices singing over each other, while eerie backwoods instrumentation and sudden noise explosions burst out of nowhere but somehow still leave you bobbing your head along as Gira repeats evocative adjectives (“forever hateful, forever beautiful, forever needing, forever reaching”). It’s easy to attribute pagan imagery to Swans’ music and say it sounds like a séance or something, but the 34-minute “Bring the Sun/Toussaint L’Overture” really does sound like the soundtrack to a sacrifice, or at least some wicked feast. Its slow, long build demands patience, but Gira’s always charismatic voice makes it worth the trip.

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Weekly Roundup: The Skygreen Leopards, Craft Spells, Courtney Love

Posted by Billy Gil, May 9, 2014 10:36am | Post a Comment

The Skygreen Leopards – “Leave the Family”

skygreen leopardsS.F. psych-rock duo The Skygreen Leopards have a new album due July 8 on Woodsist called Family Crimes, and they’ve released the first song from it, “Leave the Family,” a bit of sunny-sounding psychedelia with goth lyrics—“you leave the family and you don’t come back,” goes one refrain over jangly 12-string guitar. Donovan Quinn, one of the two Leopards, is a busy guy—he also recently released a great record with Ben Chasny of Six Organs of Admittance under the moniker New Bums. In fact, that whole Woodsist gang seems to be bustling as of late, with Woods’ recent, excellent album having been released and the gang gearing up for new Woodsist Fests, one Aug. 5-6 in Big Sur and another Aug. 16 in Pioneertoown (featuring Skygreen Leopards, Woods, Real Estate and more). Thanks for keeping us chill w/your cool hippie vibes throughout the summer, guys!

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12 Twisted Mother's Day Movies

Posted by Billy Gil, May 9, 2014 09:36am | Post a Comment

Mother’s Day could mean tuning into the latest movie based on a Jane Austen book or rom-com, but that’s no fun. Instead, we've compiled a list of 12 of the most messed-up movies about mothers. Save these to watch for after you’ve hung out with mom.

mothers day

Mother’s Day (1980)

Let’s start with the one that shares its name with the holiday. The horror film, produced by cult horror kings Troma Entertainment and directedy by Charles Kaufman, got flak at the time of its release for its exploitative aspects, its rape/revenge scenario calling back to I Spit On Your Grave. But since then, its cult has become a substantial enough to warrant a remake produced by Brett Ratner and starring Rebecca De Mornay (star of another screwed-up mom’s movie, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle). “Darlings, you have made your mother very proud,” the deranged mother of two hillbilly punks tells the boys when they bring her a woman to murder. Mom will love this one!

 

serial mom

Serial Mom (1994)

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