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The Best Albums of 2014 So Far

Posted by Billy Gil, June 27, 2014 04:54pm | Post a Comment

sun kil moon mark kozelekmadlibst. vincentIt is now almost exactly halfway through 2014! It’s time to look back on the last six months and see what’s it’s had to offer music-wise. There’s already been a bunch of great records released this year, including a couple of excellent ones released just this week. If you haven’t checked these out, they’re all worth getting—pick ’em all up and catch up on what you’ve been missing.

Sun Kil Moon Benji

sun kil moon benji lpSome people write memoirs. Sun Kil Moon’s Mark Kozelek write songs crammed with details, from a brutal story about a distant cousin’s death by a freak fire to mundane details about Panera bread and sports bar shit on the walls, that somehow come together to form something called a life. Just when you feel like the songs are too stuffed to keep up, Kozelek will let his breathy “sadcore” folk open up and focus on a seemingly trivial line like “blue crab cakes” in the song “Ben's My Friend,” and in doing so perfectly captures the weird things that stick out in our heads when we reflect. Simply put, listening is like attending a master class in songwriting.

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New Vinyl/CD Releases at Amoeba Hollywood 6/27 - Sons of Magdalene, M. Geddes Gengras, Population One and more!

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, June 27, 2014 01:28pm | Post a Comment

Sons of Magdalene - Move to Pain

Sons of Magdalene

Move to Pain CD

Move to Pain LP

Audraglint

Stunning solo debut from Josh Eustis, known for his work with cult favorites Telefon Tel Aviv and touring membership of Nine Inch Nails. It’s been five long years since we’ve heard from Mr. Eustis. Telefon Tel Aviv’s last album, “Immolate Yourself”, consisted of blurry, romantic synthpop made infinitely bleaker by the accompanying news of co-founder Charles Cooper’s death. Since then, Eustis has been a synth and guitar mercenary for Reznor and Co. However, Eustis is now free of the major label shackles and Telefon’s legion of fans can rejoice. Sons of Magdalene has Eustis operating at the height of his powers.
 
Eustis is that rare studio rat with an equal understanding of voltage control and pop songcraft. His voice is stripped of effects and pensive but imbued with personality. Like Bernard Sumner, he’s a reluctant icon, belting stadium-worthy choruses into the studio ether. The title track could be a cherished and apocryphal Pet Shop Boys B-side, while “A Strange Sound” sounds like  Martin Rev doing his best Donna Summer impression. It’s that good. Meanwhile, Eustis is completely aware of the techno zeitgeist. “O’Death” interpolates the industrial cadence of the Sandwell District axis, and the record, as a whole, is a textural delight. “Move to Pain” will be loved by synth nerds and new romantics alike. An unexpected high-water mark for emotional synthpop.

Move to Pain CD

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Remembering Mike Kelley at MOCA

Posted by Amoebite, June 27, 2014 01:00pm | Post a Comment

Mike Kelley Mobile Homestead

This summer, LA's Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is celebrating the life and work of another LA icon, the late artist Mike Kelley. So incisive and influential is Kelley's body of work that the exhibit takes up the entirety of The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, plus a gallery at MOCA Grand Avenue. With a deep and far-ranging oeuvre that takes in media from sculpture to photography to performance, Kelley's contributions to the world of music are sometimes overlooked.

Sonic Youth Dirty

A founding member of Detroit's noise/proto-punk band Destroy All Monsters, a student of Laurie Anderson (at CalArts), and the artist behind Sonic Youth's Dirty album art, Kelley's musical output is proudly positioned in the underground. Amoeba Hollywood sat down with Kelley a few years back to delve into that musical heritage, and to get his thoughts on the movies and music that influence and inspire him as an artist. In this 2010 installment of our Webby award-winning series What's In My Bag?, Kelley runs through his picks, from hallucinatory no-budget schlock horror flicks to classic jazz vocalists.

 



Weekly Roundup: Zola Jesus, LA Font, Joel Jerome, Woods, Cold Beat

Posted by Billy Gil, June 27, 2014 11:18am | Post a Comment

Zola Jesus – “Dangerous Days”

zola jesus ameobaIt’s been three years since Zola Jesus aka Nika Rosa Danilova’s last album of new material, 2011’s terrific Conatus. The first taste of her new album, Taiga (due Oct. 7 on Mute), shifts further away from her early goth-noise material and builds on the more pop-oriented sound she’s shifted toward since the Stridulum EP, singing clearly and boldly over a dance-pop beat but with the same paralyzing strength her voice has always commanded. It’s startlingly different but sure-footed and sounds as brilliant as anything she’s done, leaving us dying to hear the rest of what’s in store with Taiga, which was co-produced in her newly adopted home of L.A. Dean Hurley (who’s worked with David Lynch and Danger Mouse, among others).

 

LA Font – “Motor Rally”

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Art for Art Garfunkel's Sake

Posted by Rick Frystak, June 26, 2014 10:40pm | Post a Comment

 

Ever since I first heard, "Dangling Conversation" and "Old Friends", I've loved Art Garfunkel's confident, husky-angel approach to harmony singing, and earnest, determined songsmith in his lead work with Paul Simon and...him. Not to mention all the hits these gents made, their work is of the highest caliber whenever they step up to the mic. Say what you will about Art, but that guy can SING!

Art's solo career doesn't immediately pop up in most folks' minds as being stellar hit-wise.  He did hit a high point in 1979 with "My Little Town" written and featuring Paul Simon on Art's Breakaway album, and Art won a Grammy Award in 1998 for Best Children's Album for Songs From A Parent To A Child.

Art's 1979 LP, Fate For Breakfast (Doubt For Dessert)wasn't destined for any such attention. It was Art's first music release to completely miss any top 40 chart position in the U.S., but here's an interesting sales tidbit: for this LP, the United Kingdom import edition featured another track not on the U.S. version, that was used in the film Watership Down, and stayed on the UK singles chart long enough to be the best selling single in the U/K for 1979!!! Art Garfunkel!! And...the LP went to No. 1 in New Zealand and Holland! Talk about a global marketing kerfuffle!

And, as if with a premonition of sorts for all this, and, in hopes to restart Art's arty-edgy-eclectic credibility, this release would prompt Columbia Records to go all-out on the packaging concept and warrant enough art department budget as to create at least different covers for the initial U.S pressing of the disc! Huh? For Art Garfunkel? Very odd, also, that references to this package usually say "five" different covers were made, but I have found six!!!! Could there be even more?? Click on one of the covers above to see a slide show of the 6 unique covers presently residing inside Amoeba's Vinyl Vault in Hollywood.

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