Amoeblog

Lush's 'Blind Spot' EP Is One of the Most Welcome Reunion Releases in Recent Memory

Posted by Billy Gil, April 20, 2016 04:54pm | Post a Comment

lush foamLush in the '90s. Remember foam parties?


lush blind spot ep vinylReunions are a tricky prospect. For every Dinosaur Jr. that can miraculously pick up the pieces, overcome interband turmoil and release some of the best music of their careers, there’s a load of bands who succumb to that same ol’ conflict after wringing the festival circuit for all its worth.

Thankfully, Blind Spot, the new EP from reunited shoegazers Lush, follows the path set by Dino Jr. At just four songs, it cherry picks the best sounds of their three studio albums without feeling like too much of a rehash, leaning toward the sound of their earlier, stronger material. Sparse bits of keyboard and piano round out the band’s guitar-pedaled sound, adding a subtle new element that could easily expand things down the line.

On mid-tempo opener “Out of Control,” singer/guitarist Miki Berenyi’s voice still pairs uncannily with fellow singer/guitarist Emma Anderson. Jangly guitars casually spiral over the ebbing pulse provided by bassist Justin King and former Elastica drummer Justin Welch. The sound of it is reminiscent of Gala-era tune “Thoughtforms,” but it proves fertile ground to revisit.

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Bay Area 420 Guide: Get Blunted with Cypress Hill, Burn One For Bernie, Berner, Pep Love, Z-Man, Shortkut, Deuce Eclipse, Lazyboy +

Posted by Billyjam, April 20, 2016 11:59am | Post a Comment


4/20
may not be an officially recognized national holiday (yet) but that matters little to the legions of pot enthusiasts, especially in the Bay Area, who will gather at various venues and events throughout today to celebrate the annual hemp holiday. Think of 4/20 as the Record Store Day for cannabis connoisseurs. It's a day when new strains are unveiled, when clubs do giveaways and specials, and musical acts including lots of hip-hoppers perform to celebrate the beloved date. Assigned to the 20th day of the fourth month, which is derived from the daily 4:20pm designated dank time, 4/20 is a relatively recent phenomenon.  While it has only been around for a couple of decades, 4/20 day celebrations have exponentially grown in popularity over time, especially in the past few years.

Fueling this noticeable national increase in public celebrating of cannabis consumption, are the steps been taken by many states across the US toward legalizing or non-criminalizing cannabis for either medical or recreational use. While Colorado may have legalized weed and California just okayed it for medical use, from travels throughout both states, my experience is that California is much more open and free minded about cannabis consumption (not to mention way more affordable!). Consequently some of the best 4/20 celebrations are taking place in the Golden State today, especially in the Bay Area where Cypress Hill are among the many artists performing. Below is a rough guide to 4/20 events in the Bay.

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20 Vinyl LPs to Look For in Late Spring

Posted by Billy Gil, April 19, 2016 05:00pm | Post a Comment

20 vinyl lps late spring list

 


Aesop RockThe Impossible Kid
Out April 29

aesop rock the impossible kid lpAesop Rock’s follow-up to 2012’s Skelethon is produced by the rapper himself. If you’ve ever wondered what’s going through the motor-mouthed MC’s head, watch the video for “Rings” below.

 

Brian EnoThe Ship
Out April 29

brian eno the ship lpLegendary producer and artist Brian Eno’s latest is an ambient work inspired in part by the sinking of the Titanic and World War I. It also includes a cover of The Velvet Underground’s “I’m Set Free.” Hear the title track below.

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Off the Wall: The Weeknd's 'Kiss Land'

Posted by Billy Gil, April 19, 2016 03:24pm | Post a Comment

I'm starting a new series in which we highlight an item or items from our collectibles. Usually these are only available in-store at Amoeba Hollywood, so come down to the store if you're interested in what you see! (Since quantities are limited, you might want to call ahead to see if it's still available.)

the weeknd kiss land lp

The Weeknd - Kiss Land
Found behind the cash registers at Amoeba Hollywood


Before The Weeknd hit it big with his latest album, Beauty Behind the Madness, and its accompanying huge singles ("The Hills," "Can't Feel My Face"), The Weeknd came through on his debut studio full-length like a cold front from Canada, with gorgeous R&B melodies shrouded in lo-fi sound and cool atmosphere. Along with his excellent first mixtapes, collected on Trilogy, Kiss Land introduces us to Abel Tesfaye's way of injecting creeping menace into gripping songs like "The Town," a song about rekindling an old flame after time on tour that echoes its feelings of longing with dramatic synth work. Musically, he keeps things fascinating throughout. The brutality of his Portishead-inspired beat in "Belong to the World" helps send that song's disaffected love lyrics home. And the album's murky final tracks see Tesfaye showing off at what he does best — creating epic (and epically sad) R&B anthems, like the hip-hop equivalent to tracks from The Cure's Disintegration. Kiss Land may be a downer, but Tesfaye's catharsis makes for a beautiful listening experience.

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Post Record Store Day Hip-Hop Rap Up: J Dilla, J. Rawls, Roots Manuva, Mr. Lif, Homeboy Sandman, Madchild + more

Posted by Billyjam, April 18, 2016 09:58pm | Post a Comment

Record Store Day 2016 (April 16th) was another popular crowd-drawing event at record stores all over the country.  Even hours before opening time Saturday morning, outside the three Amoeba locations (LA, SF & Berkeley) there were long lines of folks fiending for the doors to open to the many great RSD exclusives. All those articles we've been reading about the ever increasing number of record collectors out there proved to be true, based on the numbers that swarmed to record stores on Saturday. By 7am outside the Hollywood Amoeba on Sunset Blvd. vinyl collectors and music fans of all ages had formed a long line that snaked down Ivar Avenue and around the back parking lot, as reported here on the Amoeblog.

Similarly up in the Bay Area collectors swarmed to both Amoeba stores early in the day, as well as throughout Record Store Day. Even at 8pm Saturday evening when I stopped into the Berkeley Amoeba
store, there were still a lot of RSD shoppers crate digging in the store's various genre sections including hip-hop vinyl. Because of the fact that the DJ and records are such a central component of hip-hop music and culture, understandably Record Store Day is a very special day for hip-hop fans.  Both DJs and casual collectors of hip-hop earmark the annual date and plan ahead . As for all the hip-hop RSD 2016 releases, the most (deserved) attention-grabbing release this year was J Dilla's The Diary. The past few days I've been listening non-stop to this highly recommended sixth posthumous release from the (now) iconic Detroit hip-hop producer/emcee, and can attest that it deserves all the hype.

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