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100 Essential Albums for Your Record Collection

Posted by Billy Gil, November 13, 2013 09:40am | Post a Comment

Use the promo code vinyl10 to get 10% off any new and used vinyl on Amoeba.com.

Starting a record collection? Or trying to round out the one you have? Here's a list of 100 records, in alphabetical order, that most people can agree are essential listens. I picked based on two criteria: essentialness and availability. If there's no reasonable way you can pick up the album in store at any given time (and for under $40), it's not on there. If you'd like to head straight to shopping, check out this handy feature at our online store. Enjoy!

Allman Brothers Band Live


The Allman Brothers Band Live At Filmore East (1971)

Hear pretty much the best guitar playing ever.

 

 

 

the b-52's lp amoeba


The B-52’s The B-52's (1979)

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Album Picks: Wooden Shjips, Cate Le Bon, Vex Ruffin

Posted by Billy Gil, November 11, 2013 05:40pm | Post a Comment

Wooden Shjips - Back To Land (CD, LP [green vinyl w/bonus 7"])

wooden shjips back to land lp amoebaWooden Shjips have always been one of the coolest psych-rock bands on the block, one that gives a good name to the concept of jam bands. But their latest, the aptly named Back to Land, reins in some of the jams in favor of more concrete songs. It’s a bold move, as the band has relocated to Portland from SF and seems to have re-energized the band, but it’s a move that likely won’t upset their fans. Songs like the great title track still are allowed to drift past the five-minute mark, utilizing simple, repeated chord structures built on fuzz guitar and organ drone, encircling the proceedings with tasteful improvisation, while frontman Ripley Johnsaon’s Alan Vega-esque drawl fades in and out, directing things like a super chill camp counselor. While the songs lengths may be shorter, there’s no shortage of variety on Back to Land, making room for fuzzy Velvets-style ballads like “These Shadows” and the kind of driving, power-chord romp they do so well on songs like “Other Stars.” Wooden Shjips may pick up a few more seafairers with the friendlier Back to Land, but there’s plenty to like for longtime fans as well. Dock up and listen.

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Weekly Roundup: Emily Jane White, So Many Wizards, Blondfire, Ty Segall, Wymond Miles

Posted by Billy Gil, November 8, 2013 10:53am | Post a Comment

Emily Jane White – “Keeley”

emily jane whiteThere’s nothing we like here at PST like sad girl music (or sad old man music, for that matter). Emily Jane White’s “Keeley” isn’t sad as much as morose, the feeling of an ancient ritual being carried out with no sense of self. White’s crackly voice adds to that feeling of helplessness over Julee Cruise-style synthesizer melodrama, singing lyrics seemingly pulled out of The Handmaid’s Tale—lines like “Oh Keeley, you’ll always be my maiden of the dawn” are strange, sensual and foreboding). Really paralyzing stuff. Blood / Lines is due Nov. 19 on Important Records.

 

So Many Wizards – “Night Chills”

so many wizardsWhoa, I’m digging this new sound for L.A. indie pop stalwarts So Many Wizards. It has the springy energy of their early releases with a little more sleekness for a song that doesn’t sacrifice the band’s intricate arrangements while just sounding really cool. I love how it sort of goes wild halfway through but never really loses sight of its hooks. The Night Chills 7” is due later this month; catch them at The Smell for the record release party Nov. 22. You can read my interview with So Many Wizards here.

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Album Picks: M.I.A., Midlake, Connan Mockasin, Ducktails, The Fresh & Onlys, Tennis

Posted by Billy Gil, November 5, 2013 09:22am | Post a Comment

M.I.A. - Matangi (CD or LP)

m.i.a. matangi lp amoebaWorldwide stardom hasn't softened M.I.A. one iota; if anything, it's made her resolve to be the planet's most provocative pop star that much stronger. Following the all-over-the-map Maya, by comparison Matangi is laser-focused, utilizing harsh industrial noise much in the same way Kanye West's Yeezus did, though she fuses it with a worldbeat touch and heavy EDM nods. Most of all, Matangi succeeds because it sounds like an M.I.A. album, even if it's been digitally chopped up and reassembled more so than previous releases. Her opening tracks come on hard, dropping names of wartorn nations in the title track amid a digital grenade of atonal sounds, while "Warriors" drills with a minimalist hip-hop beat. "Come Walk With Me" starts like a love song, quiet with a reggae sway, before jumping off the rails with a hyperactive dancehall-house beat. Though these tracks touch on her typical subject matter of empowering the global masses, she's also having a great time, rapping like a cocky hip-hop star and subverting the formula. And the second half of Matangi is loaded with ass-shakers. "atention's" twisted beat makes it one of her sickest dance songs since "World Town." The previously released "Bad Girls" makes an appearance in all its bhangra-beat glory, and "Bring the Noize" is the album's instant classic, unleashing a brutal beat that makes most EDM sound like kid's music as M.I.A. pulls off sounding disaffected while spouting rhymes at an impressive tick. Matangi is a welcome comeback after a troubling period for M.I.A., proving her once again to be one of the most forward-thinking pop music entities around.

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Show Recap: White Denim at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, October 31, 2013 03:53pm | Post a Comment

white denim amoeba hollywoodWhite Denim came by Amoeba Hollywood Oct. 30 to slay us with their virtuosic Southern Rock attack. Syncopated beats and intertwining guitars greeted listeners as the band promoted its new album, Corsicana Lemonade (order on CD or white denim corsicana lemonade lpLP). On songs like “Come Back,” guitarists Austin Jenkins and James Petralli dueted on harmonic guitar lines that made them sound like successors to the Allman Brothers. Jenkins barely broke a sweat, changing guitar effects and unleashing rapid fire riffs without breaking a sweat, all while wearing the tightest jeans known to man. Bassist Steven Terebecki and drummer Joshua Block were no slouches, either, keeping things grounded while offering their own impressive improvisations, throwing out rubbery basslines and splashy fills, respectively, and keeping things moving with shifting time signatures that prove Dirty Projectors aren’t the only cool modern band capable of pulling off music-theory-nerd tricks. Though they’re basically like a metal band in cowboy boots, it wasn’t all about showmanship, as songs like “A Place to Start” offered picturesque soul. See kids? Practice your instrument, it pays off.

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