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Albums Out April 23: No Joy, Phoenix, Junip, Young Galaxy

Posted by Billy Gil, April 23, 2013 04:35pm | Post a Comment

Album Picks:

No JoyWait to Pleasure

No Joy Wait to PleasureCD $10.98

LP $16.98

A mistake some neo-shoegaze bands make is avoiding the loud guitars the genre is partially based upon without making up for it in melody or some other distinguishing feature. Not so with No Joy, whose debut Ghost Blonde was slathered in distortion and reverb — so much so, in fact, that it did tend to wash them out. Not so with follow-up Wait to Pleasure, which ratchets up the songwriting without sacrificing much in the way of pulverizing guitar power, in a way previewed on their Negaverse EP last year. “E” tunnels along on the strength of a heavily distorted bass that gives anchor to Jasamine White-Gluz and Laura Lloyd’s guitar feedback and cooing vocals. “Hare Tarot Lies” crushes through with heavy power chords and femme vocals that recall the best of ’90s female-led alt-rock bands (underrated acts like Lush and Veruca Salt) while paying homage to their usual checklist of influences, such as Swervedriver and My Bloody Valentine. With the sonics in check, No Joy seem to feel free to explore their pop side on the rest of the album, on the church-like melodies of “Prodigy” and Strawberry Switchblade-esque '80s pop of “Lunar Phobia.” Not all of their gambits work, as they miss a vocal cue on “Slug Night” that could have made it a single, and “Blue Neck Riviera’s” rapping is questionable, even if the song is saved by a melodically charging second half. But even these foibles are mostly endearing, as Wait to Pleasure never wears out its welcome across its 11 tracks. They sound like a band secure in their own sound and trying out new things here and there, occasionally coming up with a power-pop gem like “Lizard Kids,” featuring sweet vocals akin to Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval over muscular, bass-driven riffs. One expects them to continue tinkering with their sound; Wait to Pleasure suggests No Joy can become a great pop band. For now, they’ll have to settle for being one of the best shoegaze bands around.

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Amoeba and Moheak's Song of the Week: Charles Walker & The Dynamites' "I Just Want To Know"

Posted by Billy Gil, April 22, 2013 11:00am | 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 Charles Walker & The Dynamites' "I Just Want to Know." The Nashville-based soul revivalist group gets into a deep groove on "I Just Want to Know," while Walker pleads with a depressive lover, declaring, "Sometimes I feel like you're pouring concrete all around my shoes." Despite its subject matter, Walker & the Dynamites avoid heavy-handedness and keep the whole thing light and funky. Sample or download the song here, as check out the rest of their album Love is Only Everything on CD, LP (out 4/30) or download.

charles walker dynamites love is only everythingA 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.

Albums Out April 16: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Flaming Lips, Jessie Ware, Andrew Wyatt, Thee Oh Sees and More

Posted by Billy Gil, April 15, 2013 10:24pm | Post a Comment

Album Picks:

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito

yeah yeah yeahs mosquitoCD $11.98

Deluxe CD $19.98

LP $19.98

Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ sultry fourth record starts with a bang, a big soul-rocker complete with gospel choir called “Sacrilige.” From there it’s a smorgasbord as colorful as their mosquito-attacking-a-baby album cover, including moody, atmospheric sound pieces (“Subway”), Banshees-esque post-punk rockers (the title track), dubby soundscapes (“Under the Earth”), “X-Files”-inspired new age ballads (“These Paths”) and rockers (“Area 52”). And that’s all before you get to a dark collaboration with Dr. Octagon and James Murphy (“Buried Alive”), as well as breathtaking new entries into Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ pantheon of after prom-style bittersweet ballads in the form of the picturesque “Always,” the slow-burning, oddly uplifting “Despair” and touching “Wedding Song.” Mosquito is a very different beast from the previous YYY’s albums and takes some getting used to, for sure, but repeat listens offer new rewards (as with every album the band has produced since its debut). Its eeriness and campiness at times call to mind a Cramps record, while its hollowed-out space represents something else entirely, something new and alluring. You might miss some of their previous raucousness (or continuity), but hearing them fling new ideas to the wall to see what sticks is intriguing enough. Yeah Yeah Yeahs are one of the few bands who know how to make its constant tinkering with its sound both interesting and entertaining. Hearing them restlessly forge new ground on Mosquito screws with your head in the best way possible. It inspires you to shake old notions of what stadium-size rock bands can and should do, and that lone is something to celebrate. Pick up "Mosquito" at any Amoeba store 4/16 and get a limited edition autographed lithograph and a special 7” (while supplies last).

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Stream 10 Record Store Day Songs

Posted by Billy Gil, April 15, 2013 02:25pm | Post a Comment

Record STore Day 2013Record Store Day, taking place this year on April 20, will see seemingly countless reissues, but younger bands also take part, most of the time releasing new material on 7” vinyl. Below are a few that you can already stream and sample ahead of their release on Record Store Day. See a full list of releases we’ll have on RSD here. See what Amoeba will have in store for RSD here.

Dan Deacon – “Konono Ripoff No. 1”

The DJ/producer who’s known for producing colorful, ecstatic production takes a stab at Afrobeat, specifically the kind produced by the great Konono No. 1. The 7” will feature two versions of the track, performed by two sets of dual drummers: Kevin O'Meara and Jeremy Hyman on Side A; Denny Bowen and Dave Jacober on Side B. The cover art features the photo by the winner of an Instagram contest; you can see more submissions here.

 

Dutch Uncles – “Slave to the Atypical Rhythm”

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Amoeba and Moheak's Song of the Week: Bonobo's 'Pieces'

Posted by Billy Gil, April 15, 2013 11:38am | 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 Bonobo’s "Pieces," in which the U.K. producer teams with Swedish singer Cornelia on an effervescent track from Bonobo's recently released album, The North Borders. Stream the song below; pick it up for download from Amoeba.com, and check out the rest of the chilled-out album on CD, LP or download

bonobo the north bordersA 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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