Amoeblog

James Supercave Chat Before Amoeba LA & SF Performances

Posted by Billy Gil, February 9, 2016 03:33pm | Post a Comment

james supercaveAfter a few years of hype in the L.A. music scene, indie-pop band James Supercave are finally ready to drop their debut album, Better Strange. After breaking through onto local radio with the song "Burn" in 2014, the band (yes, it's a band, not a guy), which consists of frontman Joaquin Pastor, keyboardist Patrick Logothetti and guitarist Andres Villalobos, set about recording their debut. But perfection, particularly that of Pastor, meant that it took a couple of years, as the band told Noisey.

Now that it's finally here, Better Strange proves to be worth the wait. Songs like the title track roll along taut disco grooves and dreamy synth tones. Pastor’s highwire vocals can go from delicate to glammy in a heartbeat, calling to mind Marc Bolan and Jeff Buckley as his voice bounds through the hairpin turns of pounding indie-rocker “The Right Thing.” The band seemingly uses influences like LCD Soundsystem, Radiohead, The Shins and Brian Eno as a grab bag without taking too much from one place — at times the record is evocative, but it never lingers in one place. It's more focused on hooks than homage, and while the album is plenty catchy, its attention to detail is also immediately apparent and rewards on repeated listens.

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Psych-Soul Trio KING Chat Before Amoeba Performance Jan. 28

Posted by Billy Gil, January 27, 2016 10:39am | Post a Comment

KING band

L.A.-based KING bring their uniquely stirring brand of swirling psychedelic soul to the Amoeba Hollywood stage for a free show Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. They'll also have their debut LP, We Are KING, on sale that day at Amoeba prior to the album's official release on Feb. 5.

KING consist of Anita Bias and sisters Paris Strother and Amber Strother. Paris is the primary producer and instrumentalist of the band, while Amber and Anita's breahty vocals hopscotch over Paris' jazzy concoctions. Together they produce a sound that doesn't skimp on complexity but also exudes warmth, using horns and unabashedly synthy keys for a sound that weaves together classic soul, synth-funk, dream pop and certain something undefinable that gives KING its own essence.

The group has drummed up a vocal fanbase on Twitter even before dropping its first album, one that includes none other than Prince, who asked the group to open for him one night during his 21-night residency at the Forum in Inglewood in 2011. Unfortunately it's also part of their story that as a trio of women writing and producing their own soul music, A&R folks have suggested the group alter their image and essentially dumb down the sound, as they told LA Weekly. I asked them about all of that and more when I caught up with them before their Amoeba show.

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Preorder PJ Harvey's New Album 'The Hope Six Demolition Project'

Posted by Billy Gil, January 25, 2016 10:02am | Post a Comment

Pj Harvey press photo

Photo by Maria Mochnacz

PJ Harvey is set to release her new album, The Hope Six Demolition Project, April 15 via Vagrant. You can preorder it now on LP and CD.

The album was recorded in sessions that were open to the public at the museum Somerset House in London, as Pitchfork has reported. Exhibit attendees could see Harvey creating the album with producers Flood and John Parish through a one-way mirror. They also yielded this amazing photo of Harvey playing the saxophone!

pj harvey the hope six demolition project lpI have to admit to being a bit skeptical of the process. Having been a fan for years, I have always loved how meticulously created and recorded her albums are, not least of which was her last album 2011’s Let England Shake, one of the strongest of her career. This approach seemed interesting but bound to distract, no?

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Album Picks: Savages, Shearwater, Chairlift, The Besnard Lakes, Charlie Hilton

Posted by Billy Gil, January 22, 2016 09:24am | Post a Comment

Savages - Adore Life

savages adore life lpSavages take all the nonsense that comes with being a much-hyped buzz band and pummel it into the ground on their intense sophomore album. Love and its various manifestations fuels these songs — “if you don’t love me, don’t love anybody,” androgynous frontwoman Jehnny Beth sings over a grinding riff on “The Answer.” The jagged post-punk groove of a song like “Husbands” returns on “Evil,” though it’s darker and more drawn out, as the band knows it can command attention without having to shake it out as it once did. Though many of these songs go for the jugular, restraint serves the band well on “Adore,” a slow-burner that clears the way for a Beth’s singular refrain, “I adore life,” a statement of purpose that drives the band into a fearless crescendo. It takes that kind of conviction to overcome the bullshit of being in an all-female band and both held to an unfair standard and knocked down by anyone tired of the hype — as if the breathless coverage of the band’s live shows and prior album, Silence Yourself, was at all their fault. It doesn’t matter, anyway —the band’s follow-up album is endlessly intriguing and, despite lacking obvious hooks, grips you the more you listen. Simply allow the band to exist on its own terms, and you won’t be disappointed by Adore Life. Watch their episode of "What's In My Bag?" below.

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Recap: Stella McCartney's Autumn 2016 Presentation at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, January 18, 2016 05:31pm | Post a Comment

stella mccartney amoeba

Last week we had an experience at Amoeba Music that was about as different as it gets for us. Clothing designer Stella McCartney presented her upcoming Autumn 2016 line at the store at an exclusive party that drew some of the biggest names in Hollywood.

carrie brownstein amoeba stella mccartney
I hate to use the word "fierce," but how else do you describe Carrie Brownstein here?

Needless to say, it was something new for us, but we were game. Who’s to say we at Amoeba can’t rub shoulders with starlets and models?

It was definitely a thrill to see people as famous as Gwyneth Paltrow, Quincy Jones and Kim Gordon stroll into Amoeba on the black carpet while bulbs flashed and journalists got into it about who was wearing what. I got the chance to chat with Emilia Clarke (“Game of Thrones”), who revealed to me that her first album was Aqua (I assured her mine was no cooler with Ace of Base). I spoke with fashion icon Rachel Zoe, who told me her first concert was U2. And I share a moment with Mary J. Blige, although I mostly just mumbled some nonsense because she is awesome and looked like an angel.

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