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

Posted by Amoebite, July 2, 2015 12:28pm | Post a Comment


In 2000, bassist Troy Sanders, guitarists Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher, and drummer Brann Dailor founded Atlanta heavy metal band Mastodon. In 2001, they signed with Relapse Records, who released their Lifesblood EP. Their first full-length, Remission, followed a year later. Mastodon's third album, Blood Mountain, received a Grammy nod for the track "Colony of Birchmen." 2009 saw the release of their album Crack the Skye, as well as a tour with Metallica. The Hunter followed two years later, with their sixth studio album, Once More 'Round the Sun, hitting stores in June 2014. 

Drummer Brann and guitarist Bill recently stopped by Amoeba Hollywood to dig up some records for another fine episode of What's In My Bag?. Brann first finds a very cool compilation called Choubi Choubi: Folk & Pop Sounds from Iraq. He mentions being a fan of Middle Eastern pop music, especially '90s Egyptian Top 40. Who would have guessed a metal drummer would be rocking out to that? Very cool. Bill follows with a re-issue of the Melvins' Ozma/Bullhead album, calling them "one of the greatest bands on earth." To bring it down a notch, Bill also picks up a copy of Drunken Hearted Man by legendary blues guitarist Robert Johnson. Brann heads in the opposite direction and finds a copy of Merci by French prog-rockers Magma. This is definitely an interesting pick for several reasons... All of Magma's songs are sung in a made up laguage and are conceptualized from a science fiction mythology created by the band's leader and drummer, Christian Vander. Wow, who needs psychedelics when you can just listen to a Magma record? Bill and Brann find it all, including some really cool jazz and classic rock. Watch the full episode below to see what else they find! 

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Show Recap: Failure at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, July 1, 2015 03:04pm | Post a Comment

failure amoeba

Failure fans withstood a hot, humid tropical drizzle outside of Amoeba Hollywood June 30 for the chance to see the band perform after a 17-year absence.

The alt-rock band reunited last year after breaking up in 1997 due to personal differences. In that time, Failure maintained a sizable cult, due in part to the band members maintaining a visible presence in musical projects such as Autolux, ON and Year of the Rabbit. With their “classic lineup” of Greg Edwards, Ken Andrews and Kellii Scott together again, the band has been successfully touring, playing all over the U.S. and Europe, and at festivals such as Desert Daze and Sunset Strip Music Festival.

failure the heart is a monster lpThe band chose to focus half of its set on its newly released fourth album, The Heart Is a Monster, which has been well-received by both fans and outlets such as Pitchfork. They started the show with that album’s opener, “Hot Traveler,” a highlight as the song moved from muscular riffs to a dreamier closing. The Amoeba show featured the live debut of two new songs from the album, “A.M. Amnesia” and “Otherwhere,” sneaking in classic “Another Space Song” from 1996’s Fantastic Planet in between.

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New "What's in My Bag?" Episode With Tijuana Panthers

Posted by Amoebite, June 23, 2015 02:10pm | Post a Comment

Despite flying under the mainstream radar for almost a decade, employing the DIY strategy so many do, the Tijuana Panthers are finally poised for a breakthrough. Much like their Innovative Leisure labelmates Hanni El Khatib, Nick Waterhouse, and the Allah-Las, the Tijuana Panthers have been crafting their own brand of alternative surf rock while tucked away in sunny Long Beach, California.

In 2010, the band self-released their debut, Max Baker, following it up with Semi Sweet (Innovative Leisure) in 2013. The latter is a lo-fi rock-pop record at times reminiscent of '50s era doo wop with puppy love themes. For their latest effort, Wayne Interest, the Panthers teamed up with producer and Black Keys touring bassist, Richard Swift. The lo-fi production style is still very intact and guitarist Chad Wachtel's surf licks rock with authenticity. The band shows off their punker minimalism, while still delivering catchy melodies backed by echoey drums.

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New "What's in My Bag?" Episode With Tweedy (Jeff Tweedy of Wilco)

Posted by Amoebite, June 16, 2015 08:25pm | Post a Comment

Tweedy at Amoeba Hollywood

A family band if there ever was one, Tweedy consists of Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy and his son Spencer. Originally Tweedyconceived of as a solo project for the senior Tweedy who was demoing and rehearsing songs at home with Spencer on drums, Tweedy soon came to include Spencer as he became more involved. The pair had previously worked together on Mavis Staples' 2013 album, One True Vine. In 2014, Wilco's dBpm label released Tweedy's debut, Sukierae (now available on CD and LP), which is named after Jeff's wife and Spencer's mother, Susie, who had recently been diagnosed with cancer. When performing live, the duo are joined by guitarist Jim Elkington, bassist Darin Gray, and keyboardist Liam Cunningham

Jeff and his sons Spencer and Sam joined us at Amoeba Hollywood where the three dug for choice vinyl and found some great titles. Jeff shows off a copy of Chastity Belt's Time To Go Home and points out the band's name, promo photo, and the song title "Why Try" were all factors in his decision to get the album. Already a fan of Captain Beefheart, Sam opts for a vinyl copy of Safe As Milk. Spencer picks up the stellar compilation Eccentric Soul: The Outskirts Of Deep City (Numero Group). The Numero Group label do an amazing job with their compilations. A must have in any soul aficionado's collection!

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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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