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Show Recap: Crystal Antlers at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, February 3, 2014 10:23am | Post a Comment

crystal antlers

Crystal AntlersNothing Is Real was a bit of a dark horse, released last year without as much fanfare as it could have had, given that it’s maybe the L.A. band’s best full-length to date. So it was great to see them play songs from it at Amoeba Hollywood Jan. 31, showing off a focus on melodic, dynamic rock songs that crystal antlers nothing is real lp amoebafold in some of their psych tendencies in favor of directly tunneling into a listener’s ear. They sounded particularly strong on single “Rattlesnake,” with its ascendant riffs, cool tempo changes and great shout-along chorus. I hadn’t seen the band since their Long Beach days, and it made me nostalgic on a song like “Licorice Pizza,” which features blown-out sax in a call back to their earlier, freakier days. The Sonic Youth-y song “We All Gotta Die,” more of a ballad on the album, sounded full and terrific onstage. “Andrew,” from 2009’s Tentacles, sounded great amongst the new tunes, hurling forth through a washy end and into their last song, which rode a “Heroes”-style Bowie riff while singer Jonny Bell unleashed his best screams.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Woodkid

Posted by Amoebite, January 31, 2014 10:00am | Post a Comment

Woodkid

In the world of creativity, Yoann Lemoine is a renaissance man. The French born director turned singer-songwriter is turning heads with every new project he takes on. Known for directing well-crafted music videos for Katy Perry, Lana Del Rey, Taylor Swiftand Drake, Lemoine is also an accomplished photographer, graphic desinger and illustrator. Growing up in a musical home, the move from behind tha camera to behind the mic was organic. With a keen eye for sleek directing and a strong ear for grand, plush production, the stage was set for Lemoine to introduce the world to Woodkid. Under this moniker, Lemoine performs neofolk/experimental pop music both singing and producing tracks. Woodkid Golden

His debut album, The Golden Age, is an autobiographical work about his childhood. The album utilizes layers of real live strings coupled with synthesized orchestration giving both an analog feel with digital clarity. Vocally he sounds reminescent of Morrissey and some critics might say it makes for a modern take on The Smiths. He's got a little something for everyone. The hip hop heads dig it, goths and electronic fans eat it up, and even the classically trained musician can appreciate the beautifully layered arrangements. The kid is good. He directs all his videos in his signature black and white look, shot in high definition for maximum sharpness. The fomula for his visuals creates a very nolstalgic feel and gives you a sense of the past and the future all at once.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With John Wiese

Posted by Amoebite, January 22, 2014 02:37pm | Post a Comment

John Wiese is a prolific experimental electronic-noise composer. He has released over 100 7-inches on various international labels including his own imprint, Helicopter. John Wiese is known all over the world for his work in LHD and Sissy Spacek, including collaborations with Sunn O))), Wolf Eyes, Evan Parker, No Age and C.Spencer Yeh just to name a few. 

John Wiese recently visited Amoeba Hollywood to pick up some super interesting music and share it with our What's In My Bag? crew. He first grabs the trippy experimental/dubby Persuasive Barrier LP by Three Legged Race. Wiese then finds a copy of a book he hadn't heard of before, Erewhon Calling: Experimental Sound In New Zealand. It's nice to know he discovered this book at Amoeba! He also supports his long time buddies in No Age by picking up their latest album, An Object. Watch the full episode below and check out the awesome 7" art piece he digs up!

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Show Recap: Connan Mockasin at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, January 20, 2014 12:02pm | Post a Comment

connan mockasin amoebaKiwi singer-songwriter Connan Mockasin started his Jan. 17 set at Amoeba Hollywood with a set of loose instrumental jams punctuated by strange synth bursts. He cooed along to a smooth space groove before picking things up in an upbeat showcase for Mockasin's gloriously woozy guitar work, which got steadily more frantic until bombing out into a druggy outro.

connan mockasin caramel amoebaHe played the first part of the five-part "It's Your Body" suite, taken from the excellent Caramel album, which is a sumptuous soul jam apart from its four other, disparate parts. Mockasin paused to speak positively about L.A., saying he had been feeling sick and intimidated by city previously. "You hear all the stories ... and it's not true," Mockasin said of his first visit down. He asked for audience participation to hit the high notes on the next song. That ended up in a weird, warbling audience singalong mid-song.

He next played the Princey "Caramel," which burrows its way into your head via a catchy, repeated synth part. Mockasin sang soulfully, hitting those high notes perfectly and subtly warping his voice to match some of the effects on the record. The band exploded for Caramel standout "I'm the Man, That Will Find You," making great use of curling guitar riffs and its slightly-creepy-when-you-think-about-it titular chorus. The song sounds a bit like a warped 12" played at half-speed of a punk cover of a Motown hit that never existed. So try picturing that!

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Connan Mockasin Brings 'Caramel' to Amoeba Hollywood This Friday

Posted by Billy Gil, January 15, 2014 03:50pm | Post a Comment

connan mockasin amoebaConnan Mockasin’s Caramel was one of the more intriguing records of 2013. As syrupy and sumptuous as its name would suggest, the native New Zealander’s second album is a trip, yawning awake with spacey love songs, delving into psychedelic soul singles (the irresistible “I’m the Man, Who Will Find You”) and moving into a five-part, mind-bending suite called “It’s Your Body.” Even among underground releases, it’s a strange bird, and an album that stays with you. I sat down with Mockasin to ask about the record as he prepared to play in San Francisco. He’ll be at Amoeba Hollywood this Friday Jan. 17, performing at 6 p.m.

 

There’s a really interesting quality to the album that the whole thing feels kind of warped and disorienting, but you get used to it as the album goes on. Was that part of the idea, to create a sort of all-encompassing sound world?

Mockasin: I didn’t really think about it too much. I just wanted to make what a record that was called Caramel would sound like. That’s just what I had in my head.

connan mockasin caramel amoebaWhat made you choose the word “caramel” as inspiration?

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