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Show Recap: Fat Tuesday at Amoeba Hollywood With ORGONE

Posted by Billy Gil, March 7, 2014 12:18pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba fat tuesday parade

This year's Fat Tuesday celebration March 4 at Amoeba Hollywood kicked off with DJs playing all manner of funk, soul and zydeco from New Orleans or influenced by its rich musical history. Our resident emcee Gomez asked trivia questions, such as the difference between "cajun" and "zydeco" (one's a culture, the other's a type of music).

orgone amoebaLos Angeles' ORGONE took the stage offering a flurry of horn blasts, funkadelic guitars and plenty of cowbell. Singer Adryon de Leon commanded with a soulful performance fronting the eight-piece band. "Don't Stop" sounded particularly alluring, with its rubbery bassline and lush, classic soul sound. They effused warm vibes perfectly suited to the day, singing "love is the answer" to a dancing crowd.

Amoeba's annual Mardi Gras parade began to prepare as the band played the funky "Say Goodbye." Meanwhile, ORGONE's bongos player had hips shaking, and the band got the audience to participate in a soul clap as de Leon channeled Donna Summer. As if the drum-fueled extended jam at the end of their set didn't already cement the fact that this band has chops, they helped out with a great, impromptu rendition of "When the Saints Go Marching In" as the parade started, with marchers wearing masks and playing instruments and its floats featuring an edifice of the late Lou Reed.

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Weekly Roundup: La Sera, Thee Oh Sees, Wartime, Christopher Owens

Posted by Billy Gil, March 7, 2014 11:10am | Post a Comment

La Sera – “Losing to the Dark”

la seraWhoa, Katy Goodman’s La Sera project has really kicked it up a notch. “Losing to the Dark,” the first taste from Hour of the Dawn, out May 13 on Hardly Art, is a lot more fierce than the bubblegum-flavored, lovelorn power pop we’ve come to know and love from her. Goodman said in press material that she wanted the new record to sound like “Lesley Gore fronting Black Flag.” Think she nailed it.

 

Thee Oh Sees – “The Lens”

thee oh sees drop lpFollowing the shortest breakup in musical history, Thee Oh Sees have been pretty busy preparing the release of their umpteenth album, Drop, out April 9 on Castle Face. Contrasting with the super heavy, psychedelic “Penetrating Eye,” “The Lens” is a slow-burning classic pop number with touches of “Hey Jude.” Maybe all of that breakup stuff was just a ruse to get our attention for their best album yet. Listen over at Pitchfork.

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Next Red Bull Sound Select Show Features PAPA, Cillie Barnes and Hindu Pirates

Posted by Billy Gil, March 5, 2014 11:30am | Post a Comment

red bull sound select filter papa cillie barnes

Red Bull Sound Select's next show features a great trio of SoCal artists at the Echo March 25, curated by our friends at Filter. Pick up early tickets for the show here for $3.

Headlining the bill is L.A.'s PAPA. The band has steadily grown over the past few years from local indie pop darlings to a sexy, grooving beast. Last year's Tender Madness was an excellent entry into the city's cache of guitar-based bands that put danceable beats on equal footing with interesting musicianship and unique melodies. Check out "Young Rut" for a taste of how enjoyable their music can be.

Cillie Barnes is an indie pop singer-songwriter with a great, earthy voice and an ear for intriguing sounds. "Brainwash," taken from last year's Happy Valley EP, moves on bouncey piano and acoustic guitar, unloading a catchy refrain as Barnes whispers, hoops and hollers through the proceedings. It'll have you singing along in no time.

Huntington Beach's Hindu Pirates produce shoegazey sounds, billowing out swirling guitars, new wave beats and shadowy melodies in the vein of bands like The Stone Roses. For anyone like us who can't get enough great post-punk bands in their lives, Hindu Pirates are a godsend. Check out "Like I'm Sinkin'" and you'll be hooked.

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Album Picks: Real Estate, Trust, Linda Perhacs, Axxa/Abraxas

Posted by Billy Gil, March 4, 2014 10:52am | Post a Comment

Real Estate Atlas (LP or CD)

real estate atlas lp amoebaIt should be no surprise that Real Estate’s third album is another impeccably crafted piece of beautiful guitar music. The New Jersey band has only made the necessary updates to their sound over the past few years, like polishing a statue into perfection. The album’s first few tracks offer everything we’ve come to love about this band, with sunny jangle-pop songs (opener “Had to Hear” and single “Talking Backwards”) butting next to nostalgic, minor-key songs about suburban splendor and decay—like being depressed about seeing a high school friend that never moved on, Matt Mondanile (also of Ducktails) sings “I walk past these houses where we once stood/I see past lives, but somehow you’re still here,” with perfect precision on “Past Lives.” Real Estate’s lyrics have often taken a back seat to their shimmering guitarwork, but here they’re a bit more prominent, shining a light on Mondanile’s minimalist approach—despite how lovely the music is, songs like “Crime” are pretty depressing when you get down to it, with lyrics like “I wanna die/lonely and uptight.” Musically things have expanded a bit, as the band throws in more overt nudges toward easy listening and ’70s singer-songwriters in “The Bend” and country tinges in the gauzy, pretty “How I Might Live.” Instrumentally, these guys are just top notch, as they make instrumental “April’s Song” an album highlight, even without Mondanile’s soothing vocals, allowing his tremoloed, romantic guitar lines to do the singing for him. Atlas is simply a stunningly beautiful piece of guitar pop.

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Show Recap: Red Bull Sound Select Featuring FIDLAR, Cherry Glazerr and More

Posted by Billy Gil, February 28, 2014 07:16pm | Post a Comment

Red Bull Sound Selects February show, curated by Amoeba Music, went off like a firecracker doused in whiskey Thursday night, with kids lining up along Glendale Blvd. all the way to Echo Park Lake for the chance to see FIDLAR and others at The Echoplex for three bucks.

red bull linered bull sound select amoeba fidlar

isaac rother and the phantoms echoplexIsaac Rother & The Phantoms opened the show with a set of songs inspired by classic rock ‘n’ roll, early blues and “Monster Mash”-style novelty songs of the ’50s and ’60s. Rother’s sneering, shivering delivery helped sell campy lyrics about phantoms and such, with Rother sporting a shock of afroed hair and a black robe that made him look like a cult leader. Now a Los Angeles resident after moving from Olympia, Wash., Rother’s new backup band impressed as well, offering heavy, thumping blues rock accompaniment and powerful female backup vocals from on songs like standout “My Cryin’ Eyes.”

cherry glazerr echoplexCherry Glazerr came next, playing fizzy female-fronted alt-rock jams like “Haxel Princess,” a single from their excellent, recently released album of the same name. They followed with the minor-key “Trick or Treat Dancefloor,” and the crowd showed they were just as comfortable swaying to Cherry Glazerr’s dreamier numbers as they were moshing to songs like frothy rocker “Whites Not My Color This Evening.” Credit to Cherry Glazerr for not just speeding everything up given the size of the show, staying true to themselves and displaying impressive, Pixies-ish dynamics. They ended with “Bloody Bandaid,” a stream-of-consciousness-style dream-popper that another band might fumble but that Cherry Glazerr, young as they are, spin into youthful gold.

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