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Weekly Roundup: Damaged Bug, POW!, Yell For Help, Cherry Glazerr

Posted by Billy Gil, January 9, 2014 10:36am | Post a Comment

Damaged Bug – “Eggs at Night”

damaged bug amoebaWelcome back, Weekly Roundup! How I’ve missed you. Did you miss me? I hope you had a great holiday and New Year. I have some sad news, which is that the most rollicking, prolific garage band in SF, Thee Oh Sees, are no more (at least for now), frontman John Dwyer recently announced. The good news is that Dwyer, never one to sit idly for more than a few moments, has a new solo album due under the moniker Damaged Bug. And it doesn’t really sound anything like Thee Oh Sees, but it does sound very good. According to promotional material, Hubba Bubba, due Feb. 25 on Castle Face, was made with “synthesizers, drum machines, and assorted hand-made electronics.” That’s certainly what it sounds like on this first taste, “Eggs at Night.”

 

POW! – “Hope Dealers”

pow! amoeblogSpeaking of Castle Face, on Jan. 14 they’ll release High Tech Boom by the SF band POW! The spaced out menace of “Hope Dealers,” which hurls forth on nervous post-punk riffs and overflowing sci-fi synths, seems to spoof the bougie, techy side of SF with its retro-futuristic slant. It feels exhilarating to hear some angry youths from up there. Check it out on BrooklynVegan.

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Red Bull Sound Select Presents Mac Demarco, Puro Instinct and Avid Dancer Jan. 29

Posted by Billy Gil, January 8, 2014 06:25pm | Post a Comment

mac demarco red bull sound select amoebaRed Bull Sound Select will feature Canadian indie-pop star Mac DeMarco, along with art-poppers Puro Instinct and Avid Dancer, hosted by Hands, Jan. 29 at L.A.'s The Echo.

The monthly showcase, which takes place in cities around the world, is curated by local luminaries. This month's show is presented in partnership with IAMSOUND.

The show is $3 with an RSVP here (Facebook doesn't count) and $12 without, at the door. There's no presale. The show is 21+ and doors are at 8 p.m.

Amoeba is curating the next L.A. Sound Select show in February. Check back at the Amoeblog to see details on that event soon!

The showcase aims to present emerging artists to the community in career-launching spots. All proceeds from the night go toward supporting the local artists who open the shows. Past artists in the series have included Diiv, Wavves, Yacht and local favorites like HOTT MT, Wildcat! Wildcat! and Incan Abraham.

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Amoeba Hollywood Holds Sidewalk Sale Jan. 18 From Noon to 5 p.m.

Posted by Billy Gil, January 8, 2014 09:48am | Post a Comment

amoeba sidewalk saleAmoeba Hollywood is holding another Sidewalk Sale just outside the store, with lots of DVD and Blu-ray deals this time.

On Jan. 18 from 12 to 5 p.m., bargains will include:

  • DVDs for $3 (or buy three, get one free, excluding DVD box sets)
  • DVD box sets at $7, or two for $10
  • Blu-ray Discs at three for $12
  • Clearance CDs at buy one, get one free
  • 45” grab bags at 10 for $3
  • Deals on classical CDs and LPs

Additionally, look for deals on discounted LPs, cassettes, T-shirts and more!

All sidewalk sales are final. Store credit cannot be used to purchase items from the sidewalk sale. Prices apply to sidewalk sale stock only and this offer is only while supplies last.

Sidewalk sale at Amoeba Hollywood Jan. 18
   

The 10 Best Reunions of the 2000s

Posted by Billy Gil, January 7, 2014 01:44pm | Post a Comment

Since Stephen Malkmus ditched the likely lucrative reunion of his legendary band Pavement to continue on with his Jicks project, which released their great album Wig Out at Jagbags this week, I thought it a good time to look back at the band reunions that have popped up this new millennium. Though these reunions have both delighted and horrified fans, sometimes at the same time, a few have been so solid that it’s like our favorite bands never left us. Now get on it, Cocteau Twins!

1. Dinosaur Jr.

dinosaur jr. amoebaDinosaur Jr. frontman J Mascis and bassist/Sebadoh frontman Lou Barlow buried the hatchet in the 2000s, formally reuniting with longtime drummer Murph in 2005 to play on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson and tour. They subsequently have released three terrific albums. If you were a fan of Dinosaur Jr. but haven’t checked out any of the albums from Dino. Jr. 2.0 (gross), do it now, as they’re as good as anything the band released during its heyday. 2012’s I Bet on Sky featured the kind of more chilled-out (yet still distortion-laden) songwriting you might expect from alt-rock elder statesmen, while 2007’s Beyond felt like lighting a match in a room full of gas, exploding with bottled up riffs and energy. Lou Barlow, whose own Sebadoh reunion also ranks as one of the better ones of the 2000s, makes his first contributions to the songwriting on these albums since 1987’s You’re Living All Over Me, and the band is better for it. Combined with their live shows, which are lessons in ear-splitting noise only bested by the next band on this list, it makes them the best reunited band of the new millennium!

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Album Picks: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Banks, Patrick Cowley

Posted by Billy Gil, January 7, 2014 11:02am | Post a Comment

Stephen Malkmus & The JicksWig Out at Jagbags (CD or LP)

stephen malkmus the jicks wig out at jagbags amoebaAmid all the reunions of ’90s bands, Pavement’s was an anomaly—no new material, just some shows, a best-of release and then kaput, all within the year 2010. That’s perhaps a good thing, since it gives people a chance to focus on frontman Stephen Malkamus’ work both solo and with the Jicks, which has been largely excellent—and underrated. Wig Out at Jagbags finds Malkamus and co. loose and having fun, but still writing solid songs that stick. After a couple of jammy numbers, the album picks up with the poppy “Lariat,” which funnily seems to call out Malkmus’ own fan base (“we grew up listening to music from the best decade ever!” he sings at the conclusion). Alt-rock revivalism gives way to a piano-led rock ballad on “Houston Hades.” “Rumble at the Rainbo” finds the band poking fun at its own elder status within the underground community—“come and join us in this punk rock tune/come slam dancing with some ancient dudes,” Malkamus sings. The more improvy numbers might lose some people, even if relistening to Pavement finds as much emphasis on exploration as melody, but they always come back with a catchy tune—“Chartjunk” features horns and Malkamus playing a not-jokey guitar solo, and seeming to enjoying every minute of it; “Independence Street” is a Velvets-esque, dry ballad; and “Surreal Teenagers” closes the album on an energetic high. With an album as fun to listen to as Wig Out at Jagbags, we’ll let Malkamus close the book on Pavement and move into a new era.

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