Amoeblog

Weekly Roundup: Scraper, Whirr, Youth Code

Posted by Billy Gil, June 20, 2013 03:34pm | Post a Comment

Scraper – “Alien Eyes”

ScraperDrag City imprint God?, which has thus far released an album by Trin Tran and a White Fence reissue, will next release an EP by San Francisco lo-fi punk band Scraper. Recorded by Ty Segall and Eric Bauer, it's full of fuzz and great non-sequiturs like "when you're naked, there's nothing to do." Check out Scraper's 7" EP July 16.

 

Whirr - "Swoon"

whirrBay Area band Whirr released a great shoegaze album last year called Pipe Dreams. Now they've got a new one coming out called Around, and we have the first song, titled "Swoon." It's an aptly named bit of smashing shoegaze noise, with pulverizing guitars opening things up for a pretty and cavernous tune full of melodic riffs and rumbling drums. Fans of Ride, Slowdive, Chapterhouse and My Bloody Valentine, line up here. Around is due July 9 on Graveface.

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Album Picks: Kanye West, Sigur Ros, Primal Scream, Austra, Spectrals, The Mantles

Posted by Billy Gil, June 18, 2013 10:02am | Post a Comment

Kanye West - Yeezus

kanye west yeezus coverCD $12.98

Much as 808s & Heartbreak was a reaction to personal drama that led to a cold, mechanical album unlike anything he had previously produced, Yeezus seems to be a response to everything Kanye West has previously recorded — and to hip-hop, and popular music, in general. In short, it sounds like nothing else around, a fusion of harsh industrial production and some of West’s most aggressive lyrics to date. We had already heard the controversy-baiting “Black Skinhead,” its Nine Inch Nails-style beat giving a tribal flow to an otherwise entirely antagonistic first single. The rest of Yeezus follows suit; West as his collaborators keep you guessing what’ll happen next throughout. Listening to opener “On Sight” feels like staring into a glaring light, its synths overdriven to a digital roar, as West claims he doesn’t give a fuck, before West and producers Daft Punk drop an R&B sample that sounds like it was recorded from another room. “New Slaves” takes bling-obsessed hip-hop to task, along with private prisons and implied white privilge, ending with a gorgeous, lo-fi outro sung by Frank Ocean — it’s way too much for one song to handle, yet it’s thrilling to hear the song teeter back and forth. Ven the tracks here that don’t sound particularly interesting at their outset, like the slow-to-start “Hold My Liquor,” eventually do something that make your head spin — in the case of this song, it’s the way those sirens and West’s cadence bounce off the bubbling, ethereal synthesizers beneath. The greatest faults in Yeezus lie in West’s lyrics — heightened braggadocio and claims of manhood are nothing new to hip-hop, which is exactly the problem with some of the more repetitive lyrics about his sexual conquests, compared with their riveting delivery and the production surrounding them; furthermore, “Blood on the Leaves” questionably cops anti-racism classic “Strange Fruit” for a track that doesn’t amount to much lyrically. Yet even beyond these issues, Yeezus is so thoroughly exciting that complaints largely fall by the wayside — in fact, West’s free-for-all attitude to making music here is what fuels that burning feeling in the pit of your stomach when Yeezus is on. Even as the spectacular My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy stretched the limits of modern hip-hop, Yeezus doesn’t sound tethered to any particular time or genre, nor does it sound particularly concerned with radio airplay — even the Rick Rubin-produced “I Am a God,” one of the closest tracks here to straight-up hip-hop, seethes frustration and anger, dissolving into a series of screams and Twin Peaks-style synth strings, with nary a catchy sample or synth riff to rope in the average listener. For someone who receives (and invites) endless flack for things that have little to do with his actual music, Kanye West continues to be the most provocative and exciting artist in modern pop music with the imperfect yet undeniably brilliant Yeezus.

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Amoeba and Moheak's Song of the Week: The National's 'Graceless'

Posted by Billy Gil, June 17, 2013 08:46am | Post a Comment

moheakAmoeba has entered into a partnership with L.A.’s Moheak Radio to provide the Amoeba Song of the Week every week for a recorded segment to air on Moheak’s online radio station.

This week it’s The National’s “Graceless,” from the new National album, Trouble Will Find Me. The song is a prime example of how The National have upped the energy on their new album, as a steady post-punk groove charges along relentlessly, allowing a bleak piano line and bowing guitar to set the tone for Matt Beringer’s deeply intoned voice to paint a vivid image of self-doubt. A perfectly blended concoction of grit and class, “Graceless” is anything but.

the national trouble will find meA bit about Amoeba’s Song of the Week: Every week we’ll provide a song hand-selected by our own staff to Moheak Radio for a recorded segment that will run four times a day (at around 8 a.m., 1 p.m., 5:45 p.m. and once overnight). Besides hearing what our expert staff is into, you’ll get the chance to win prizes from Amoeba Music. The giveaways will happen once a week with announcements at least once every four hours leading up to the giveaway, which will take place on Moheak’s Facebook page. Check it out, support local/online radio and win some prizes along the way.

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Weekly Roundup: No Age, Imperial Teen, Superhumanoids, Cold Showers, Hunx and His Punx, Soft Metals, Flaamingos

Posted by Billy Gil, June 13, 2013 11:26am | Post a Comment

No Age – “C’mon Stimmung”

no age an objectLast week No Age revealed the cover art and tracklist for the upcoming An Object, out Aug. 20 on Sub Pop — you can preorder the album now on CD or LP. Now we’ve got the stunning first song from the album, “C’mon Stimmung.” It seems to carry the relatively cleaned-up sound of their last album, Everything in Between, as drummer Dean Spunt’s vocals come through with more clarity and depth than before, while guitarist Randy Randall indulges in the sort of My Bloody Valentine-style guitar mangling that snags us every time. No Age have also announced an upcoming tour, which will come through L.A. July 25 when the band plays Santa Monica Pier. They’ll also be in Berkeley Aug. 23 at the Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, where they’ll appear with Sun Foot, Devin Gary & Ross.

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Amoeba Contest Winners Share the Love

Posted by Billy Gil, June 11, 2013 03:03pm | Post a Comment

she and him contestWith all the happenings at Amoeba, it’s easy to miss some of our contests, but we’re always holding some sort of contest. In fact, right now we’re holding two — enter to win tickets to see She & Him June 23 at the Hollywood Bowl (enter by June 17; more info here) and enter to win a pair of passes to the First City Festival Aug. 24-25 in Monterey, Calif., with Modest Mouse, Beach House, Passion Pit, MGMT and more (enter by June 24; more info here).

richard amoebaOur recent winners have been enjoying their spoils from various contests. Richard E. recently won tickets to see Mumford & Sons at the Hollywood Bowl. Says Richard: “The show was great! I was only really familiar with Mumford & Sons from their Grammy appearance, but my wife has been a fan for quite a while. Her enjoyment was really infectious and I’ve found myself humming songs since the show. We had a fantastic time. I have always been a person that would see any kind of live music, and this show really paid off!”

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