Amoeblog

Amoeba and Moheak's Song of the Week: The xx's 'Sunset'

Posted by Billy Gil, May 6, 2013 09:30am | 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 XX’s “Sunset.” The sultry song from the English band’s second album, Coexist, is a prime example of the trio’s nighttime bliss. Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim trade hushed, romantic verses and dole out icy guitarwork while Jamie Smith lays down a minimalist beat. Sample or download the song here.

The XX

A 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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Show Recap: Alice Russell at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, May 3, 2013 06:19pm | Post a Comment

alice russell amoebaAlice Russell wasn't messing around on a hot May 1 at Amoeba Hollywood, waltzing out as her band launched into To Dust's "Heartbreaker Pt. 2." She commanded the performance with a booming voice that soared over the music's elegant compositions, with a terrific mix that highlighted her voice without washing out her band's subtle backing arrangements.

alice russell to dustHer band's all-in-black, buttoned-to-the-top motif may have been funny on such a hot day, but the Brits looked and sounded so cool that it made us feel less sweaty just to be around them. Russell grooved hard to the next song, ending with a roaring vocal breakdown as her band came in on crescendoed hits like they were playing for James Brown. They slowed things down for "Citizens," a sparer soul ballad in which Russell was accompanied by sampled, spectral harmonies. On the strutting electro-funk of "For a While," Russell and her band showcased their ability to organically include electronic elements into what are at their core traditional soul-funk songs. The band's breaks were breathtaking on this one, generating applause when they bore back into the song.

They slowed back down again for a song that began as a piano ballad and ended up a heavier power-ballad, with Russell pushing her voice to its deepest and then back up for spirited cries of "goodbye," before shifting once more into a kind of sudden new wave track that suggested a soul version of The Cure. In fact, their next song had quite a bit of that same creeping dread pouring into it. Despite Russell's effervescent nature, big voice and her band's pop-oriented tack, they're quite British at heart. Gothic soul is the most sense I can make of it. Russell might just be our next Alison Moyet of Yaz.

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Bleached to Play Amoeba SF May 6

Posted by Billy Gil, May 3, 2013 02:18pm | Post a Comment

bleachedL.A.’s own Bleached will bring their grimy guitars and candy-coated melodies to Amoeba San Francisco next week for a performance May 6 at 6 p.m. Led by sisters Jessie and Jennifer Clavin (formerly of L.A. punk greats Mika Miko), their recently released debut album, Ride Your Heart, has been spinning circles around us for the past couple of weeks on the strength of punk party jams like “Next Stop” and radio-ready gold like “Dead in Your Head.” Pick it up, and check them out at Amoeba SF or back in L.A. May 8 at the Troubador with Ex Cops and Tijuana Panthers. I saw down with Jessie for a quick and dirty interview before their performance.

PST: It’s hard to believe your first album is finally out! We’ve been awaiting it for some time. Did you want to make sure you got it just right, found the right producer or had the songs developed to the point that you wanted?

Jessie: We knew we really wanted to work with Rob Barbato again, who produced our last two 7-inches. We started with some rough demos, and the songs really started to come to life as we started adding over dubs and Jens vocals.

PST: Some of the newer tunes are really pop-oriented, like “Dead in Your Head,” while others like “Next Stop” retain the punkiness of your earlier work. Has the approach to songwriting changed at all?

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Weekly Roundup: God? Releases, Alela Diane, United Ghosts, Kim Free, Soft Metals, Deafheaven

Posted by Billy Gil, May 2, 2013 04:35pm | Post a Comment

Drag City Imprint God? Releases White Fence, Scraper Reissues

scraper white fenecThe new Drag City imprint God? is new but already pretty awesome. Their second and third releases will be a reissue of Cali’s White Fence’s self-titled debut LP and S.F.’s Scraper’s debut 7”. White Fence aka Tim Presley is rad. His latest release Cyclops Reap is out now and is a nice and trim entry point for the psych-pop singer/songwriter, even if it’s a leftovers comp of sorts. For even more out-there bliss, check out all the rest of his albums, which ramble and sway in the wind in the best way possible. His first album is full of lo-fi delicious bon bons, 16 short songs that hide their hooks in reverb, and now you can have it July 16 from God? The same day, the label releases skate punks Scraper’s first release, a six-song EP with lo-fi, talky, grimy psych-punk with song titles like “Liquid Lips.” Yummy! Look for them both July 16.

 

Alela Diane Readies New LP ‘About Farewell’

alele dianeSometimes you need a good folk record, like eating really healthy food. Alela Diane’s About Farewell, out June 25 on her own label, Rusted Blue Records. I’m a sucker for the first song she’s released from it, called “The Way We Fall.” It’s really two great songs in one, starting with a looping, soulful ballad, painted with intriguing swaths of flute, acoustic guitar and sumptuous harmonies. Then it shifts for a less-orchestrated portion that could have come off as precious if the previous part hadn’t happened; in succession, it serves to peel back the layers and reveal Diane’s lovely lilt, which is soon accompanied by those flutes again. Try not to get the shivers. Diane lives in Portland, but she hails from Nevada City, Calif., so we’ll count her as one of us. Check out an interview Diane did with the Amoeblog a while back.

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Show Recap: La Santa Cecilia at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, May 2, 2013 10:40am | Post a Comment

la santa cecilia amoebaLa Santa Cecilia isn't a person — or she isn't a live person, rather. It’s a band fusing all sorts of worldly influences — cumbia, bossa nova and blues, to name a few — named after the patron saint of musicians. But you could’ve been fooled into thinking frontwoman Marisol Hernandez was a saint herself, given the way she commanded the stage at Amoeba Hollywood April 30.

Her booming voice soared over a bluesy opener, generating rapturous applause from the show’s sizable audience. The band then went into an upbeat song driven by Jose “Pepe” Carlos’ riveting accordion playing, with Carlos and bassist Alex Bendana backing up Hernandez with trade-off vocals. santa cecilia treinta diasHernandez seemed to get choked up as she thanked people for coming, later saying it was an honor to play in the store. As though driven to please those she had just thanked, she danced, jumped and sang her heart out through the band's next bilingual jam. The band paused for a break while medical personnel attended to a concert-goer in medical need (who was shortly doing fine, it was announced).

They came back and introduced legendary drummer Pete Thompson, who carried them through a spirited romp as the band worked to restore stability to the show, while Hernandez rapped and roared through another song complete with blazing guitar solo. She gushed about receiving an email from Elvis Costello saying he wanted not only to perform but write on the album as well, sending lyrics for the song “Losing Game,” from their just-released Treinta Dias. Though Costello wasn’t present, Hernandez made up for it by doubling her already formidable stage presence and voice through the song’s swinging New Orleans feel.

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