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Show Recap: Islands at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, September 18, 2013 01:00pm | Post a Comment

islands amoeba hollywood

Islands took the stage at Ameoba Hollywood Sept. 17, the day they released their fifth album, Ski Mask (on CD, LP or download). The band mostly played songs from that album, portraying a more mature, subdued version of Islands than we've previously seen. However, Nick Thorburn is still a beast and a ham onstage—"We're Islands, it's true—oh shit," he said, distracted by something, then went to start a song on keys before returning to holding the mic and strutting through "Wave Forms," Ski Mask's buoyant opener. "Death Drive" introduced cool analog keyboard sounds and a subtle hip-hop feel to the set. For islands ski maskSki Mask's best song, "Becoming the Gunship," Thorburn took to playing a beautiul white guitar—he and his band all looked pretty dapper, btw, but that's neither here nor there—and his bandmates offered solid harmonies. They reached back to 2008's Arm's Way for the discoy "Creeper" before returning to the newer material, proclaiming "Contractually, I'm obligated to ask you to buy [Ski Mask]" before launching into that album's “Winged Beat Drums,” a funkier song akin to Spoon with nice dynamics and sunny lines like "life's not a gas, it's a gas chamber." Thorburn picked his guitar alone in the opening of the sad-sounding "Here Here," while "Hushed Tones" saw bigger, Who-style ringing chords, with a soft underbelly of watery synths. Thorburn appeared to get annoyed with someone in the audience and invited the guy onstage to air his complaints—that guy ended up being rapper Subtitle, who joined the band to deliver his rap on Return to the Sea's "Where there's a will, There's a whalebone." Even as they've mellowed out, Islands couldn't resist throwing a bit of mayhem into the mix. The band stuck around for a signing session that included all members of the band biting into one of their records—perhaps to authenticate it as real, like people did in the olden days with gold coins.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Everything Is Terrible!

Posted by Amoebite, September 18, 2013 12:48pm | Post a Comment

Everything Terrible

One man's trash is another man's treasure. Especially if we're talking about old VHS tapes and most definitely if we're talking to the collective known as Everything Is Terrible!

Everything is Terrible! is a comedy website that features footage from VHS tapes spanning the mid '80s to early '90s. The collective scour thriftstores, yard sales and bargain bins searching for  forgotten VHS gems. They then compile somewhat of a "best of the worst" and create hilarious mashup pieces of brilliant art. Sometimes it's a potty training video for kids or a PSA on drug use mashuped with Christian porn intervention and work safety tips. The result is outrageously funny. EIT also tours, putting on live psychedelic stage shows featuring puppets, video screenings, comedy, music and projections. They do it all and have legions of cult like fans to praise their genius.

Everything TerribleEverything Is Terrible! has set out to amass the largest collection of Jerry Maguire VHS tapes in the history of man. Under their "Maguire Wach" campaign, EIT accepts mailed in VHS copies of  the movie. Fans can also bring copies to their live shows and there is a leader board keeping tally on their website. Anyone who donates 10 or more copies gets their name on the leader board!

If you or somebody you know has a VHS copy of Jerry Maguire that needs a loving home, please donate it to Everything Is Terrible! at:

Everything is Terrible!
P.O. Box 47924
Chicago, IL 60647 USA

Nick and Dimitri of EIT recently visited Amoeba Hollywood for another memorable episode of What's In My Bag? and they managed to dig up some very crucial findings.

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Show Recap: AlunaGeorge at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, September 14, 2013 11:00am | Post a Comment

alunageorge amoeba hollywoodOne thing I love about seeing shows at Amoeba is getting to see bands perform in a different way than they normally would. British R&B act AlunaGeorge played a short, stripped-down set at Amoeba Hollywood Sept. 12, playing as a three-piece with only piano, electric drums and the velvety smooth vocals of singer Aluna Francis. They began with their single "You Know You Like It," playing it looser and jazzier than the dance-pop original. Francis danced close to the mic as she sang, gesticulating along to the lyrics. She sounded more confident than her chilled-out demeanor on record while singing on "Outlines," the opener to their excellent, recently released Body Music album (order on CD or download). You could really hear the detail and subtlety to AlunaGeorge's music on a song like the Robyn-ish "Attracting Flies," as Francis' cohort George Reid snuck in sly hooks on his piano. "Your Drums, Your Love" benefitted greatly from the minimal set-up; while the studio version is befitted with flashy studio tricks, its catchy chorus shone in this version, dressed up with jazzy improvisation and skittering beats.

See more photos from the performance here.

Show Recap: White Buffalo at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, September 13, 2013 06:18pm | Post a Comment

white buffaloFolk rocker White Buffalo took the stage at Amoeba Hollywood Sept. 11, performing songs from his recently released concept album, Shadows, Greys, and Evil Ways (on CD now or preorder on LP). In the vein of, say, Steve Earle, White Buffalo aka Jake Smith performs americana songs with a satirical bent. His latest album details the life of a young man as he meets a woman and settles down with her, only to head to war, be shot and sent home a changed man who can't cope.

He started with "The Getaway," a waltz detailing the album's two young lovers running away together. In the next song, "Joey White," the character "finds out it's pretty fuckin' hard out there," he said, as the man joins the military seemingly without another choice. Smith had some trouble with the guitar cable during the song, during which he jokingly implored to the audiene, "talk amongst yourself, quit lookin' at me." Unflustered, he started to perform the hard-hitting song acoustically before the power came back—actually, it sounded pretty cool as his guitar sound broke apart while playing, and if anything, it added to the sentiment of things falling apart for Smith's character.

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Show Recap: Haunted Summer at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, September 12, 2013 08:53am | Post a Comment

haunted summer amoebaL.A.-based dream pop band Haunted Summer cast their spell over Amoeba Hollywood Sept. 10, their autumnal music like a collective signifier of summer moving into fall. Their gorgeous “1996” saw them sending out cool waves of reverbed guitar while singer Bridgette Moody cooed an ode to nostalgia. The band moved from a four-piece to a duo of voice, guitar and synthesizers for a couple of hypnotic songs—including an even dreamier version of Animal Collective’s “Bees,” which they dedicated to the problem of honeybee colony collapse disorder—in which Moody’s voice would move from a whisper to a wail, occasionally masked with underwater effects. The band’s bassist and drummer came back for a couple more, plus their producer, who played a wicked theramin on their closing song.

Pick up their Something in the Water EP at Amoeba Music, and listen to or download “All Around” for free from Amoeba. See more photos from the show here, and read my interview with the band here.

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