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Weekly Roundup: together PANGEA, Soft Metals, Wax Idols, Johnathan Rado, Chelsea Wolfe, Wymond Miles

Posted by Billy Gil, August 22, 2013 06:21pm | Post a Comment

I’m back after a lil’ break! Here are some of my favorite local SF/LA area songs and videos of the past couple of weeks:

together PANGEA – “Snakedog” video

together pangeaWe’ve been waiting for some time for the next full-length from this band (who are now calling themselves “together PANGEA” rather than just Pangea, I guess to avoid confusion with other similarly named acts?). Still waiting on when that album will come out, but for now we’ve got the first new taste from the L.A. band, the slithery rocker “Snakedog.” Sounds like one of those dumb SyFy Channel movies! But it’s even better than that! I love these guys, can’t wait to hear more. The Snakedog 7” is out now on Harvest Records, and they’re on tour this fall, hitting Bardot in Hollywood Sept. 9.

 

 

Soft Metals – “Lenses” video

soft metalsI know I write about these guys a lot, but they seriously have the corner marked on slightly detached yet totally engaging synth pop. “Lenses” is a dreamy title track from their excellent recent release, and since their last video was such a sexy treat, I thought I’d post this one too. Watching it and listening to it sort of feels like being completely wasted and high at some weird after hours place where you start seeing things and you’re not sure what’s going on.

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Album Picks: Julia Holter, Earl Sweatshirt, Zola Jesus, No Age, Ty Segall, Crocodiles

Posted by Billy Gil, August 20, 2013 09:15am | Post a Comment

Julia Holter - Loud City Song

julia holter loud city song lp amoebaReading about the construction of a Julia Holter album is a bit like reading an art student's honors thesis — one album was built around a Greek tragedy; this one's loosely built around the musical Gigi. Listening, however, is another matter, and Loud City Song might be Holter's most transcendent statement yet. Her voice can come off as icy and ethereal, but on "World," it's firmly grounded and comes through with stunning clarity as she sings of urban melancholia — "what are you wearing? ... I live on the 5th floor of the apartment building ... what am I looking for in you? How can I escape you?" It feels like listening to snippets of phone conversations and thoughts from miles of anonymous citydwellers, while lush horns and harpsichord craft blankets of sound around her. "Horns Surrounding Me" begins with what sounds like someone being chased while she whispers paranoia before launching into a cold, pulsating orchestral pop number. Each of Loud City Song's pieces feels purposeful; you could write at length about each one, like how "He's Running Through My Eyes'" soft movements curl in unexpected ways, or how "In the Green Wild" counters its seemingly carefree, scat-like delivery and standup bass with dread-inducing strings and dark, descending backup vocals. Holter creates her own galaxy on Loud City Song, with each of its songs a strange, spinning planet of sound.

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Album Picks: Washed Out, Jagwar Ma, Valerie June, Medicine

Posted by Billy Gil, August 13, 2013 10:55am | Post a Comment
Washed Out - Paracosm
 
washed out paracosmWashed Out's third album takes the poolside chillwave of Ernest Greene's previous releases and expands it into a psychedelic wonderland of sound. You can picture the paisley and swirling visuals of a song like "It All Feels Right" in its first bars, but Greene's songs aren't loaded with a generic '60s feel. They come to life with the intricate detail Greene slowly pours onto these songs like honey — "It All Feels Right" might be just a handful of chords and simple melody on the surface, but decayed samples, tremeloed vocals, bird chirps and hints of sitar make up a menagerie of sounds to tickle your ear. Songs like "Don't Give Up" return the hip-hop beats and lite funk bass to the mix. "Weightless" lives up to its name as slow-motion dream-pop in which emotions are suggested rather than felt directly, sounding a bit like an electronic version of a Julee Cruise song. The album pulls back into focus with "All I Know," whose jangling guitars and ascendant melodies carry the emotional uplift of U2 or recent M83 yet with Greene's traditional laidback stance, marking among Greene's best yet. Some of Paracosm gets a bit murky in its second half, but Greene is still an expert at pairing atmosphere with pop rooted in various eras and genres. Whether he's vibing '80s synth-funk, hippie-era sentiment or shoegazing solitude, Paracosm is miraculously seamless and enjoyable throughout.

Washed Out Paracosm CD $12.98
Washed Out Paracosm LP $19.98
 

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Back To School Super Sale, 8/17 - 8/18!

Posted by Billy Gil, August 8, 2013 11:35pm | Post a Comment

Get ready for Amoeba's upcoming ...

back to school

S U P E R S A L E

 

All three Amoeba stores will be holding sales on Saturday, Aug. 17 and Sunday, Aug. 18, featuring:

-25% OFF ALL Posters, T-Shirts, Headphones, and Select Turntables

-Bargain markdowns throughout the store!

AND AT AMOEBA HOLLYWOOD ONLY:

-Bargain Blu-rays at three for just $15 

 

bargain binamoeba posersamoeba t-shirtamoeba band t-shirtamoeba t-shirt

amoeba headphones

Amoeba Co-Presents Opening Night of 'Everything is Festival'

Posted by Billy Gil, August 6, 2013 03:10pm | Post a Comment

Everything is FestivalAggregators of all the stupid things people have taped Everything is Terrible! along with L.A.-based film organization Cinefamily are hosting their fourth "Everything is Festival," and Amoeba is co-presenting the opening night screening of Rewind This! Aug. 12.

Amoeba will be on hand with a booth selling rare, cultish and collectible VHS tapes, for those who want to get their own "Everything is Terrible!" on at home.

In the spirit of the website of its namesake, which includes found footage from infommercials, public access TV and other odds and ends, Everything is Festival IV: The Dreamquest will feature made-for-TV movie melds, esoteric documentaries, footage from forgotten, strange video games and more. Documentary Rewind This! covers the life (and afterlife) of VHS, including early, cheaply made direct-to-video features. It starts at 10 p.m., and tickets are $12; buy them here. Before that, at 7:30 p.m. the festival will screen Final Cut: Ladies and Gentlemen, a film stringing together clips from classic films into a new narrative; tickets for that are available here.

Watch the trailer of Rewind This! below.

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