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Show Recap: Gary Numan at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, October 17, 2013 02:48pm | Post a Comment

gary numan amoebaThere are some shows at Amoeba that get the staff tickled to pieces, and Gary Numan's show at Amoeba Hollywood Oct. 16 was one of them. Employees turned into starstruck kids when Numan showed up, looking vampiric in a black vest, red tie and dyed black hair.

He took the stage with his band to promote his recent release Splinter (Songs From a Broken Mind), which portrays a harder edge to the new-wave star. I was listening to it on the way to the store and found myself driving really aggressively along to the music (well, that and the Waze app was yelling at me from my phone, but that's another story).

He opened with Splinter's "I Am Dust," the industrial rage of which could have started those who showed up expecting the synthy sounds of "Cars." But the sizable crowd that showed up seemed to dig the new tunes, bobbing their heads along when the drums and distorted guitars came in hard and enjoying the new ride one of their musical heroes was taking them on.

By the second song, I felt a little hot from the noise, a sexy, noisy blend of guitar and synth more akin to Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and Smashing Pumpkins than Numan's early records. His gothy howl was occasionally muffled by the overdriven guitars. This wasn't a problem when he broke into a couple of classics—"Are Friends Electric?" and "Cars," which had everyone cheering and uncontrollably singing along.

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Album Picks: Cass McCombs, Tim Hecker, Crystal Antlers, Nobunny, Heavenly Beat

Posted by Billy Gil, October 15, 2013 10:37am | Post a Comment

Cass McCombs - Big Wheel and Others (CD; preorder the LP, due Nov. 5)

cass mccombs big wheel and others lpCass McCombs' latest record is a confident double-length album that shows his growth over seven albums into one of the foremost singer/songwriters of our generation. Big Wheel takes its time to get going, moving gently from one track to another. As such, even with its hour-plus length, it's an easily approachable album with great variety within a pretty straightforward setup. "Big Wheel" is a bluesy rumination on manhood—"A man with a man, how more manly can you get? I may be five-foot-one, but you're all wet" he sings in a memorable couplet. He pairs lyrics of a sexual love affair in "Morning Star" ( "wring my neck under your thighs" he sings suggestively in the chorus) with gentle country-folk that sounds like the first thing you want to hear upon waking. Perhaps the biggest highlight is "Brighter!," a song included twice, the second time with the late Karen Black taking lead vocals for a sweet, sad farewell. Some of Big Wheel's tracks veer into dad-rock territory, but even then there's usually something more interesting than what meets the eye on deeper listens, like the insane horns that pop up in "Joe Murder" and "Satan Is My Toy" or how "Everything Has to Be Just-So" begins gently and breaks apart into avant-garde atmosphere. Big Wheel and Others needs a few spins to sink in, but once it does, the album reveals itself to be an indelible listen.

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Meet the Dogs and Cats of Amoeba

Posted by Billy Gil, October 10, 2013 06:10pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba is more than just pet-friendly. We're kind of nuts about animals here. Not only can shoppers bring in their pets any time, our staff's pets have become part of the family, wandering the halls of Amoeba and distracting us from our work with ridiculous cuteness.

October is Adopt-a-Dog Month, and we've got a number of activities planned. Amoeba Hollywood's annual Dog Costume Contest is on Halloween, Thursday Oct. 31, with DJ Foliero at 3 p.m. and the contest at 5 p.m. As well, Amoeba is accepting donations, including food, blankets and cleaning supplies, for a $3 off coupon, and Amoeba is sponsoring The Great Escape, a two-day (Oct. 20-21) pet adoption event happening at Fonda Theatre (6110 Hollywood Blvd.), a benefit show featuring Best Coast, Baby Alpaca and other pet-loving bands.

Amoeba SF on Halloween will have a DJ set of spooky tunes with DJ Kells Bells from 3-5 p.m., with a dog costume contest at 4 p.m.—enter for the chance to win an Amoeba gift certificate!

Amoeba stores close at 7 p.m. on Halloween. Read more about these events/efforts here.

Meet our dogs and cats below!

wilder amoeba
Wilder
 
Owner: Kyle Blair-Henderson, Video Director
 
Wilder is a 4-year-old rat terrier/ladykiller. He'll snack on anything that Kyle's one-and-a-half-year-old daughter throws on the floor. He is aggressively affectionate. His superpower is his overactive tongue. Beware the mighty tongue of Wilder or you'll find yourself in a canine french kiss. His tongue is also a defense mechanism for any time he feels cornered. There is no situation he can't lick his way out of.
 
Fun Fact: Wilder is named after the great Billy Wilder and not as many have suggested Gene Wilder or Van Wilder.
 
 

cash amoeba

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Weekly Roundup: Upset, Boardwalk, Radar Brothers, Flaamingos

Posted by Billy Gil, October 10, 2013 01:54pm | Post a Comment

Upset – “She’s Gone”; preorder She's Gone on CD or LP

upset bandThe new band featuring Ali Koehler of Vivian Girls/formerly of Best Coast, Jennifer Prince on guitar and Patty Schemel, formerly of Hole (and of Hit So Hard, the documentary made about her) has debuted the title track from its forthcoming album on Don Giovanni, due Oct. 29. It’s a scrappy power-popper in the vein of such bands as Heavenly, Bettie Serveert and Velocity Girl. If you have a yen for female-fronted alt-rock, you’ll love Upset. They’ll be at S.F.’s Bottom of the Hill Nov. 20 and L.A.’s Echoplex Nov. 21. You can pick up first single “Oxfords and Wingtips” from Amoeba now, or preorder She's Gone here! (Also, check out how Upset fits into the Vivian Girls Family Tree.)

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Six Degrees of Vivian Girls

Posted by Billy Gil, October 9, 2013 04:06pm | Post a Comment

vivian girlsRemember the whole Pixies/Breeders/Belly/Throwing Muses web of bands many years back? Or, more recently, the Wolf Parade/Sunset Rubdown/Frog Eyes/Handsome Furs/Divine Fits band sprawl? And let's not even get into Broken Social Scene. Well, none of these band associations holds a candle to Vivian Girls and the myriad bands, collaborations, side projects and what-have-yous that spring from the New York noise pop band. In light of recent release from onetime-Vivian Frankie Rose and the upcoming release by Vivian girl Ali Koehler in Upset, I've attempted to make a Vivian Girls tree for y'all. I'm sure I missed like 20 bands, let me know if I have!

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