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Show Recap: AlunaGeorge at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, September 14, 2013 11:00am | Post a Comment

alunageorge amoeba hollywoodOne thing I love about seeing shows at Amoeba is getting to see bands perform in a different way than they normally would. British R&B act AlunaGeorge played a short, stripped-down set at Amoeba Hollywood Sept. 12, playing as a three-piece with only piano, electric drums and the velvety smooth vocals of singer Aluna Francis. They began with their single "You Know You Like It," playing it looser and jazzier than the dance-pop original. Francis danced close to the mic as she sang, gesticulating along to the lyrics. She sounded more confident than her chilled-out demeanor on record while singing on "Outlines," the opener to their excellent, recently released Body Music album (order on CD or download). You could really hear the detail and subtlety to AlunaGeorge's music on a song like the Robyn-ish "Attracting Flies," as Francis' cohort George Reid snuck in sly hooks on his piano. "Your Drums, Your Love" benefitted greatly from the minimal set-up; while the studio version is befitted with flashy studio tricks, its catchy chorus shone in this version, dressed up with jazzy improvisation and skittering beats.

See more photos from the performance here.

Show Recap: White Buffalo at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, September 13, 2013 06:18pm | Post a Comment

white buffaloFolk rocker White Buffalo took the stage at Amoeba Hollywood Sept. 11, performing songs from his recently released concept album, Shadows, Greys, and Evil Ways (on CD now or preorder on LP). In the vein of, say, Steve Earle, White Buffalo aka Jake Smith performs americana songs with a satirical bent. His latest album details the life of a young man as he meets a woman and settles down with her, only to head to war, be shot and sent home a changed man who can't cope.

He started with "The Getaway," a waltz detailing the album's two young lovers running away together. In the next song, "Joey White," the character "finds out it's pretty fuckin' hard out there," he said, as the man joins the military seemingly without another choice. Smith had some trouble with the guitar cable during the song, during which he jokingly implored to the audiene, "talk amongst yourself, quit lookin' at me." Unflustered, he started to perform the hard-hitting song acoustically before the power came back—actually, it sounded pretty cool as his guitar sound broke apart while playing, and if anything, it added to the sentiment of things falling apart for Smith's character.

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Weekly Roundup: Best Coast, Crystal Antlers, The Herms, Upset and More

Posted by Billy Gil, September 12, 2013 10:20pm | Post a Comment

Best Coast’s Fade Away Up for Preorder

best coast fade away lpL.A.’s Best Coast are following up last year’s excellent The Only Place with a mini album called Fade Away. The seven-song release features two songs she released on Record Store Day—“Fear of My Identity” and “Who Have I Become”—plus five more new ones. It’ll be out Oct 22 on frontwoman Bethany Cosentino’s new label, Jewel City. Read my interview with Best Coast here.

Preorder Best Coast’s Fade Away on CD or LP! Stream “Fear of My Identity” below, and pick up the EP track "I Don't Know How" from Amoeba now!

 

Crystal Antlers – “Rattlesnake” video

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Show Recap: Haunted Summer at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, September 12, 2013 08:53am | Post a Comment

haunted summer amoebaL.A.-based dream pop band Haunted Summer cast their spell over Amoeba Hollywood Sept. 10, their autumnal music like a collective signifier of summer moving into fall. Their gorgeous “1996” saw them sending out cool waves of reverbed guitar while singer Bridgette Moody cooed an ode to nostalgia. The band moved from a four-piece to a duo of voice, guitar and synthesizers for a couple of hypnotic songs—including an even dreamier version of Animal Collective’s “Bees,” which they dedicated to the problem of honeybee colony collapse disorder—in which Moody’s voice would move from a whisper to a wail, occasionally masked with underwater effects. The band’s bassist and drummer came back for a couple more, plus their producer, who played a wicked theramin on their closing song.

Pick up their Something in the Water EP at Amoeba Music, and listen to or download “All Around” for free from Amoeba. See more photos from the show here, and read my interview with the band here.

Terry Malts Talk Second Album 'Nobody Realizes This is Nowhere'

Posted by Billy Gil, September 10, 2013 04:37pm | Post a Comment

terry maltsThe Terry Malts aren’t your typical Bay Area garage band. In fact, they’re not really a garage band or a punk band—or even a typical Slumberland Records band—at all. The band’s three members—comprising singer/bassist Phil Benson, guitarist/vocalist Corey Cunningham and drummer/vocalist Nathan Sweatt,  started off in jangle-rock revivalists Magic Bullets before branching off into Terry Malts, a fast-paced, fuzz-rockin’ trio that fuses Ramones-style hooks and brevity with the deep-voiced panache of Morrissey and reverbed insouciance shared with several of their labelmates. Their second album, the Neil Young-reffing Nobody Realizes This is Nowhere (on CD or LP) is another quick and dirty delight, as was their first album, last year’s Killing Time. I caught up with the band just as they were set to release Nobody, which is in stores today. (See photos from their Amoeba performance here.)

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