Shearwater’s latest is a set of covers and one original that pay tribute to bands they’ve toured with. It may seem like a strange way to round up a set of covers, but it mostly works, and serves as a nice follow-up to last year’s Animal Joy before the band regroups to record new material. It’s a kick to hear them take on Xiu Xiu’s “I Luv the Valley OH!!” and hear Jonathan Meiburg intone “my behind is a beehive.” They make Coldplay more tasteful on their rendition of “Hurts Like Heaven.” And while some covers remain faithful, like their version of Folk Implosion’s mid-’90s rock radio hit “Natural One,” they take a different melodic tack to St. Vincent’s “Cheerleader,” making the song their own, and give a more humanistic sense to Clinic’s “Tomorrow” while retaining that band’s rhythmic thump. Fellow Travelers pulls a neat trick for Shearwater, a band who is distinctive in its own right but whose moody indie-rock sound is difficult to pinpoint, by showing how that sound applies to the music of others. And it ends up a nice showcase for the bands they cover, highlighting some of the lesser-known bands they’ve toured with, on lovely renditions of David Thomas Broughton’s “Ambiguity,” for instance, while shedding new light on bigger bands like Coldplay. It’s a winner, all-around.
Gardens & Villa – “Bullet Train”
It’s not too early to get excited for music in 2014. This new track from Santa Barbara’s Gardens & Villa is a winner, flying high on falsetto harmonies and a deep, thumping groove, like a hipper, more psych-oriented Hall & Oates. The band’s second album, Dunes, is due Feb. 4 on Secretly Canadian.
Stream ‘I Need You Bad’ and Preorder Now
Sonny Smith’s curated compilation I Need You Bad collects some of the finest Bay Area bands and artists around, featuring local young guns like Warm Soda, Pure Bliss and Jessica Pratt. Listen to the whole thing here, and preorder the LP from Amoeba, due Nov. 25 from Polyvinyl.
We’ve had a great year for donations through our monthly charity auctions (the last one of the year is Dec. 7). But we’re not done yet.
At Amoeba San Francisco, we’re joining forces with the San Francisco Food Bank to collect canned goods and nonperishable items for singles and families in need through Dec. 23. Additionally, you can make a monetary donation to the San Francisco Food Bank online. For each $1 donated, the SF Food Bank is able to distribute $6 worth of food. The need is especially great now, as 1 in 4 residents of San Francisco and Marin County are in need of food assistance, and the need in both areas has grown by nearly 20% since 2008, according to SF Food Bank.
As a thank you for your donations, you will receive a coupon for $5 off a purchase of $25 or more at Amoeba SF.
At Amoeba Hollywood, we’ll be collecting holiday gifts for Five Acres, an organization that promotes safety and well-being for children by connecting them with permanent, loving homes. To donate, please bring in a new, unwrapped toy for a child age 4–16.
|L-R: Alex Hwang, John Chong, Sally Kang, Daniel Chae, Joe Chun, Jennifer Rim. Photo: Eric Ryan Anderson.|
L.A.-based folk-rock band Run River North are a model for self-made bands everywhere. The Korean-American septet, who make folk-based music with soaring vocals, intricate harmonies and the occasional electric guitar, have been garnering increasing notice not just locally, but globally, thanks in part to some industrious moves. The band recorded a version of its song “Fight to Keep” live inside one of the band members’ Hondas. The clip made it to Honda’s computer screens, and the company surprised the band by taking it to play live on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” You can watch both the original clip and their appearance on “Kimmel” below.
The band is playing every Wednesday this month at acoustic music haven Hotel Cafe in Hollywood. Amoeba is proud to sponsor the residency. You can catch them Nov. 20, 27 and Dec. 4. Additionally the band's Fight to Keep 7” will be available exclusively at Amoeba Hollywood starting Nov. 27. The band’s self-titled debut album is due Feb. 25 on Nettwerk.
We're dancing for joy over at Amoeba. With everyone who contributed to our monthly auctions, in-store donation jugs and off-site events, we have raised more than $60,000 this year!
Our charity auctions, in which comedians, musicians and friends auction off concert tickets, prize packages and more, take place the first Saturday of every month at 4 p.m. at Amoeba Hollywood. Some of the people involved this year were Upright Citizens Brigade, Don Barris, Kurt Braunohler, Jimmy Pardo, Beth Stelling, Matt Ingebretson and Gustavo Arellano—thank you all for hosting and helping to raise funds for various charities!
Right now we are collecting donations for disaster relief in the Philippines. Monetary donations are being accepted at the registers for Doctors Without Borders' relief efforts in the Philippines. Find out more or directly donate at their website.
Find out more about the charities we're involved with below, or pick up a “How You Can Help” pamphlet at any Amoeba Music location: