Amoeblog

Michael Vidal Talks 'Dream Center' Before Amoeba Hollywood Performance June 18

Posted by Billy Gil, June 16, 2015 05:10pm | Post a Comment

michael vidal amoeba hollywoodMichael Vidal is the thoughtful kind of songwriter and human being you don't encounter very often. Compared to his previous band, L.A. noise-rockers Abe Vigoda, his Dream Center EP is full of introspective tunes built on carefully constructed, textural guitars that build on where that band was headed on its last LP, the darkwave-inspired Crush. Vidal has been playing live shows now with a three-piece band as Dream Center has been recently reissued on LP and CD by Couple Skate. He'll be at Amoeba Hollywood for a performance June 18 at 6 p.m. I caught up with Vidal before the show to find out more about his writing process, Instagram art and the new album he's working on.

Are these mostly newer songs or did you originally write them with the intention of using them for Abe Vigoda? Is there a difference to how you wrote your parts of the songs with Abe and solo?

Vidal: The songs on Dream Center were all written for this new project, but many of them were written in this period of limbo and I wasn’t really sure what this new project was. It was kind of unclear what was going on with Abe Vigoda, but I had to keep writing and playing out. I knew these songs were different and were for me. The writing process of Abe Vigoda was extremely collaborative, incidental and kind of chaotic. I can’t write that way on my own. I write slowly and carefully now, which sounds boring but is actually way more fun.

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Roses Play Amoeba Night at the Bootleg HiFi Nov. 23

Posted by Billy Gil, November 3, 2014 10:08am | Post a Comment

roses bandL.A. new romantics Roses hit the Bootleg HiFi for their November Sunday residency, presented by The Fold. The band plays every Sunday in November, with a new slate of supporting bands each night. Nov. 23 is Amoeba Music Night, featuring Hair Perfect, Crystales and Basement Babies. We’ll be on hand with coupons, buttons and more.

Roses formed last year, following the dissolution of guitarist Juan Velasquez’s old band, Abe Vigoda. Since then, the band has played live extensively, with bands such as A Sunny Day in Glasgow and Diiv, as well as at Amoeba's Red Bull Sound Select show back in August with Tanlines, and they released the Dreamlover EP this year on Group Tightener. Velasquez, a veteran of Amoeba, and singer/keyboardist Marc Steinberg sat down to talk with us a bit about his new band and what they have going on into the new year.

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Roses Chat With the Amoeblog Before Show at Sayers Club

Posted by Billy Gil, August 20, 2014 11:37am | Post a Comment

rosesL.A. trio Roses spin out gorgeous tunes that blur the line between dreamy introspection and new-wave pop abandon on their debut EP, Dreamlover. The band, which features ex-Abe Vigoda member Juan Velasquez on guitar with Marc Steinberg on vocals/keyboards and Victor Herrera on bass, will be at Sayers Club tonight for the next Red Bull Sound Select show, along with Tanlines and SISU, who we caught up with yesterday. The show is only $3 with an RSVP and starts at 8 p.m.; hope to see you there!

We spoke with Velasquez a bit about his new band and the recently released Dreamlover before the show.

You guys were friends for a while before becoming a band. Tell me a little bit about how you guys formed.

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Local Stuff: Allah-Las, Dum Dum Girls, The Deadly Syndrome

Posted by Billy Gil, August 3, 2012 03:38pm | Post a Comment
allah-lasAllah-Las – “Don’t You Forget It”
 
The natty L.A. lads in Allah-Las premiered a new track today called “Don’t You Forget It,” from their upcoming self-titled debut full-length, due from Innovative Leisure Sept. 18. Dig the way the drums come in halfway through and make the bonfire jam into a dance party. They’re on tour this fall with Nick Waterhouse, whose own Time’s All Gone came out earlier this year, and both will play FYF Sept. 1-2.










Dum Dum Girls – “Lord Knows”
 
I’m among those who will pause to listen any time San Diego’s Dum Dum Girls release music. So it’s with great joy that I hear “Lord Knows,” a knockout, mid-tempo ballad that shows lead singer Dee Dee’s growth as a songwriter over the bands couple of albums. The song will appear on the End of Daze EP, due in the fall.
 


 

The Deadly Syndrome – “Whatever Comes Our Way”

 
This first taste from Los Angeles’ The Deadly Syndrome’s third album, the self-released All in Time, due Aug. 7, sounds very L.A. — get up, go to work, traffic, in bed by 10. The song has a way of humanizing an increasingly inhuman existence. Maybe that’s just what I’m drawing from it, but for relatively unassuming indie rock, it’s pretty affecting.
 

The Deadly Syndrome - Whatever Comes Our Way from The Deadly Syndrome on Vimeo.

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Local Stuff: New Albums Coming From The Fresh & Onlys, Lavender Diamond

Posted by Billy Gil, June 29, 2012 01:14pm | Post a Comment

The Fresh & OnlysSan Francisco’s The Fresh & Onlys have announced the title, Long Slow Dance, and tracklist for their new album, as well as tour dates for a West Coast tour. For anyone who loved 2010’s Play It Strange, and there were plenty of us, the news of a new album from The Fresh & Onlys is exciting stuff. From the sound of “Yes or No,” they’ve ditched a lot of the reverb for a more straightforward shimmery rock sound. I say all the better; “Yes or No” is the best thing I’ve heard from them yet, unafraid to hide its gorgeous melody in the garage. The album comes out Sept. 4 on Mexican Summer.
 
 

Tour dates:
 
07/21 San Francisco, CA Phono Del Sol
08/05 Big Sur, CA Woodsist Fest / Henry Miller Library
09/05 Santa Ana, CA Constellation Room *
09/06 San Diego, CA Soda Bar *
09/07 Los Angeles, CA The Echo *
09/08 San Francisco, CA The Independent *
09/09 Santa Cruz, CA The Catalyst Atrium *
09/11 Sacramento, CA Ace of Spades *
09/13 Portland, OR Mississippi Studios *#
09/14 Bellingham, WA The Shakedown *
09/15 Vancouver, BC The Media Club *
09/16 Seattle, WA Crocodile *
 
* = with Terry Malts
# = with Grass Widow
 
 
Tracklist: 
 
1. 20 Days and 20 Nights
2. Yes or No
3. Long Slow Dance
4. Presence of Mind
5. Dream Girls
6. Fire Alarm
7. Executioner's Song
8. No Regard
9. Euphoria
10. Foolish Person
11. Wanna Do Right By You
 
 
 
I’m a huge fan of L.A.’s Lavender Diamond. There are few artists you can say are truly “special,” and Lavender Diamond and their frontwoman, Becky Stark, truly are. This week they released the first song, “Oh My Beautiful World,” from their upcoming new album, Incorruptible Heart, due Sept. 25 on Paracadute. On releases like Imagine Our Love and The Cavalry of Light EP, Stark and co. constructed grandiose folk-rock songs that relayed a disarming, unforced naivete. “Oh My Beautiful World” has glorious harmonies, sounding somewhat like Stark’s other musical project, The Living Sisters, but producer David Fridman (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev) ups the girl group quotient with big “Be My Baby” drums and acidic breakdowns partway through. I never would have thought to pair Fridman with Lavender Diamond, and I can’t wait to hear what else they come up with.
 

 
Tracklist:
 
1.     Everybody's Heart's Breaking Now
2.     Dragonfly
3.     I Don't Recall
4.     Just Passing By
5.     Teach Me How to Waken
6.     Come Home
7.     Forgive
8.     Light My Way
9.     Oh My Beautiful World
10.  Perfect Love
11.  Everybody's Song
12.  All The Stars
 

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