Amoeblog

Amen Dunes' Damon McMahon Talks Trying Not to Be Cool On New Album 'Love'

Posted by Billy Gil, June 13, 2014 06:16pm | Post a Comment

Amen Dunes Damon McMahonDamon McMahon has been making lo-fi psychedelic folk under the Amen Dunes moniker over the past decade. Several tours, a stint living in China and a few records later, and Amen Dunes are having a breakthrough moment with the recently released Love, a cleaner, more precise album and perhaps one of the best of the year thus far, full of swirling, melancholic folk-rockers with carefully considered experimental touches.

I’ve read that in the past you recorded a lot of things on your own onto tape. What made you want to go for a more produced sound on this record?

I think I’ve always wanted to make records that sounded really good, but I didn’t have the means to do so. It’s always been a solitary process, it never really worked for me in studios, but I’ve always wanted to make a record that sounded really good but I never really had the ability to do that. I had specific visions for this record. I had this idea of imagining what a songwriter record would sound like if it was backed by Pharoah Sanders. I was really obsessed with this Pharoah Sanders record called Karma, I have been for a long time. I wanted to make a record that production-wise was reminiscent of that. And I couldn’t really do that with a TASCAM four-track.  

Was it important to keep some of the immediacy of your earlier work? I’m thinking of a song like “I Can’t Dig It,” which has almost a live feel to it.

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Weekly Roundup: Allah-Las, Gabriel Kahane, Evan Mellows, The Shoe, Matt Kivel, Painted Palms

Posted by Billy Gil, June 13, 2014 10:49am | Post a Comment

Allah-Las – “501-415”

allah-lasAllah-Las, who met while working here at Amoeba and went on to release an excellent self-titled debut two years ago, have a new one on the way called Worship the Sun, out Sept. 16 via Innovative Leisure, produced by Nick Waterhouse. “501-415” is both more stripped down and psychedelic than what we’ve heard before, with a country jangle and Pedrum Siadatian’s wandering vocal spiraling over a tremoloed guitar funked-out bassline. It’s an intriguing turn and leaves us hungry to hear what the rest of Worship the Sun will sound like. Allah-Las’ Miles Michaud recently came by Amoeba for one of our Sunday Spins sets presented by LA Record, which continue every Sunday at 5 p.m. this month. Check out an interview I did with them a while back.

 

Gabriel Kahane Releases ‘The Ambassador’

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Grand Performances Welcomes Angelique Kidjo June 20

Posted by Billy Gil, June 11, 2014 06:37pm | Post a Comment

angelique kidjoWorld music legend Angelique Kidjo will appear June 20 at Grand Performances, the free music series at Downtown L.A.’s California Plaza. The show starts at 8 p.m. Amoeba is proud to be a sponsor of the show, and we'll be on hand with a booth and our prize wheel.

Born in Benin, the Grammy-winning Kidjo has been called “the undisputed queen of African music” by the Daily Telegraph, while NPR calls her “Africa’s greatest living diva.” On albums like 2014’s EVE, which is dedicated to the women of Africa, Kidjo blends influences from around the world, from Afropop and Carribena zouk to the soul and funk of American artists like James Brown, Nina Simone and Jimi Hendrix (the latter of whom she’s covered, singing Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile”). Kidjo has collaborated with everyone from Alicia Keys to Philip Glass. She sings and speaks in four languages (Fon, French, Yoruba and English) and uses Benin’s traditional Zilin vocal technique, as well as jazz vocalese (a style similar to scatting, improvising by singing lyrics rather than scat syllables to pre-existing instrumentals).

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Get Your Grub on at Tacolandia June 28

Posted by Billy Gil, June 11, 2014 11:48am | Post a Comment

tacolandia

Los Angeles really is a land of delicious tacos. Tacolandia seeks to highlight some of the city’s best Saturday June 28 at El Pueblo de Los Angeles in Downtown (125 Paseo De La Plz Los Angeles, CA 90012) from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Curated by Latin American food guru Bill Esparza and presented by LA Weekly, Tacolandia 2014 features 40+ taco vendors from both Los Angeles and Mexico, along with entertainment and tequila tasting. (Please note the event is 21+.)

Amoeba will be at the festival—stop by our booth and spin our prize wheel!

mariscos jaliscoTickets are $30 for general admission, plus $20 for access to the tequila garden, or $50 for a premium ticket that gets you both, plus five drink tickets and a VIP gift bag. Once you’re inside the fest, samples of tacos and tequila are free (up to 10 half-ounce samples for the tequila).

 

 

 

The taco providers include Ameca, Amor y Tacos, Aqui es Texcoco, Bistro LQ, Cielito Lindo, C-V-Che, Carnitas El Momo, Chichen Itza, Chef Katsuji Tanabe, Colonia Taco Lounge, Coni’Seafood, Corazón y Miel, Don Chente, EggSlut LA, FIG, Finca Altozano by Chef Javier Plascencia, Flor Del Rio, George's At The Cove,Gish Bac Restaurante Oaxaqueño, Guerrilla Tacos, La Flor de Yucatan, La Guerrerense of Ensenada, La Monarca Bakery, Las 7 Regiones de Oaxaca, Loteria Grill, Mariscos Jalisco, Mexicali Taco & Co., Mexicano, Petty Cash, Pez Cantina, Picca, Revolutionario LA Food, Rincon Oaxaqueno, Rocio's Mole De Los Dioses, SoHo Taco, Sol Cocina, Starry Kitchen, Taco Maria, Los Originales Tacos Arabes de Puebla, Tacos Kokopelli of Tijuana, Tacos Leo, Taco Punta Cabras and Tamales Elena.

Album Picks: The Fresh & Onlys, Craft Spells, Lust For Youth

Posted by Billy Gil, June 10, 2014 09:33am | Post a Comment

The Fresh & Onlys - House of Spirits (LP, CD)

the fresh and onlys house of spirits lpThe Fresh & Onlys continue to move away from the reverb-drenched garage rock of their early records and toward something more grandiose on House of Spirits. From the outset, it’s clear they mean business, with more precise songwriting and cleaner production than ever before. Tim Cohen’s lyrics take a darker turn—he sings like Rosemary’s Baby grown up on the rollicking “Who Let the Devil,” claiming Satan bottle fed him with blood, fitting in nicely with co-singer/songwriter Wymond Miles’ typically gothier songs, such as the country-Cure style “Animal of One.” The band turns in one of their loveliest songs ever with “Bells of Paonia,” a throbbing, fuzzed out shoegaze ballad with a dreamy romanticism that suits the band nicely. Mostly, these updates work for the band. Occasionally you miss the early rock stuff, though they go balls out on “Hummingbird,” and the lack of reverb reveals some weakness to the vocals. Still, I’ll take earnest and scrappy any day over easy or lazy, as the band leaps past the tired garage-rock moniker that has previously tailed the band and lands in exciting new territory.

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