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Rock the Vote With Amoeba!

Posted by Billy Gil, September 27, 2012 02:59pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba is helping to sign voters up before the Oct. 22 deadline to register or change your address information. You can register here if you haven't yet registered to vote in the Nov. 6 election, or Amoeba has voter registration forms at the stores you can pick up and we’ll mail it for you. Visit Rock The Vote for more voter information.

Murs & Fashawn at Amoeba HollywoodAs part of Amoeba's Rock the Vote effort, Murs & Fashawn and Band of Horses turned out excellent live shows at Amoeba Hollywood and across the street at Space 15 Twenty. Murs & Fashawn's energetic live show, which was streamed live for a webcast on Amoeba.com, drew a huge crowd, thanks to Living Legends member Murs’ loyal fanbase, Fashawn’s rising notoriety and their recently released collaborative album, the fine This Generation. The duo performed songs from the album, such as the uplifting “Heartbreaks & Handcuffs,” trading rhymes and pointing to one another and generally having a great time riling up an enthusiastic crowd. Murs picked up a baby at one point like a politician, remarking that there were a lot of babies in the audience, which there were, along with teenagers who shouted suggestions to Murs and clamored over one another to pick up free T-shirts they threw into the audience (one jumped on my head!). “If you’re smart, you’ll be registered to vote and to get married by the time you leave here,” Murs said at one point. “If a girl’s at our show, she’s probably pretty cool.” Later, Murs more pointedly said: “It doesn’t hurt to believe in something a little bit. Don’t be so apathetic.”
 
murs fashawn this generation“As I got older and evolved as a person, I realized there’s a point [to voting],” Fashawn chimed in. “Today, I’m gonna register to vote.”

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Album Picks: Grizzly Bear, James Iha, Allah-Las, How to Dress Well, Plus More Albums Out Today

Posted by Billy Gil, September 17, 2012 05:23pm | Post a Comment
Grizzly BearGrizzly Bear – Shields

One of the year’s finest rock albums comes with Grizzly Bear’s Shields, improbably even even more consistent album than 2009’s excellent Veckatimest. Beginning with the soft explosion of “Sleeping Ute,” in which Daniel Rossen sings of his “wanderings dreams” amid regal electric guitars, fluttering synths and acoustics, Chris Taylor’s grounding basslines and Chris Bear’s dynamic drumwork, Shields continues through a back-and-forth between the more immediate pop thrills of Veckatimest and more ambient feel of their older material. “Speak in Rounds” has the same sort of glorious harmonies we heard on “While You Wait for the Others” but with more rock propulsion than the band usually employs. Meanwhile, tracks like the wordless “Adelama” and slowly shuffling “The Hunt” highlight their placid side. But Shields is also a progression of their sound in addition to a refinement of it. “Yet Again” scales back the grabbiness of an older song like “Two Weeks” for a lushly expansive take on the rock single, perhaps showing some influence from Radiohead, with whom they toured a few years back in a dream bill. Similarly extended and confident, “A Simple Answer” is one of Daniel Rossen’s finest showcases to date, building on his typically mysterious melodies to a gratifying, grandiose chorus. An addictive listen, it’s easy to lose yourself in the layers of Shields and find something newly impressive each time.
 
james ihaJames Iha – Look to the Sky
 
Anyone who’s been a big Smashing Pumpkins fan knows the pleasures the Pumpkins’ “George Harrison” could bring with his subtle guitarwork and gorgeous songs like “Go,” “Blew Away” and “Take Me Down.” Fourteen years after his first solo album released while still in the Pumpkins, James Iha is back with a fuller sound that capitalizes both on his folky Neil Young-inspired leanings and his ability to create spectral space rock soundscapes. Both qualities are in full flair on the beautiful “To Who Knows Where,” which features a typically beautiful Iha chorus and an awesome space-folk breakdown in the middle. Classic Pumpkins fans can find plenty to sink their teeth into in songs like “Gemini,” which moves from eerie folk to swoony big-chord rock. Elsewhere, he breaks from his past more decisively, as on the ’60s by way of ’80s pop “Till Next Tuesday” and the addled blues of “Appetite,” moments that show Iha has more tricks up his sleep than at first appears. Some of his folkier tracks veer toward sappy, but Iha’s smart production, learned from the interim years of producing for acts like Cat Power and Isobel Campbell as well as various remixes, usually saves things with orchestral flourishes and surprises like the twinkling synths that pop up at the end of the Karen O duet “Waves.” It’s an assured work that speaks to the talents of Iha as a guitarist, producer and songwriter who knows how to paint wonders from a modest palette.

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Band of Horses To Perform at Space 15Twenty in Hollywood September 25

Posted by Amoebite, September 14, 2012 08:36pm | Post a Comment
Band of Horses are set to play a very intimate show at Space15Twenty across from Amoeba Hollywood on Tuesday, September 25 at 7:30pm in celebration of National Voter Registration Day!

Band of Horses Mirage RockTo get into this amazing show be one of the first 100 people on Tuesday, September 18 to purchase the new Band of Horses album, Mirage Rock, in-store at Amoeba Hollywood on CD, limited-edition CD or LP and sign the ROCK THE VOTE pledge. Your ticket to the show will admit 2 and we'll need the name of your guest at time of purchase. Limit one ticket per person.

This event is brought to you by Rock the Vote, Amoeba Music, Space15Twenty and the Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office.

Want to preview the new album? You can listen to Mirage Rock in its entirety before it's released on 9/18 here.



Not registered to vote yet? Fill out a voter registration form at Amoeba Hollywood (we'll even mail it in for you) or register to vote online.


What: An intimate performance with Band of Horses for National Voter Registration Day

When:
Tuesday, September 25
Doors: 7:30pm
Show: 8pm

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Albums Out Today: Reissues From Blur, Yaz, At the Drive-In, Plus New Albums and Preorders

Posted by Billy Gil, July 31, 2012 01:11pm | Post a Comment
This week sees a huge set of reissues from Blur, among others ...

at the drive-inAt the Drive-InIn/Casino/Out
 
Though At the Drive-In’s third and final full-length, Relationship of Command, gets more attention for being the post-hardcore band’s breakthrough, At the Drive-In’s second album, In/Casino/Out, is the best representation of the band at the height of its powers. The album was recorded live to capture the band in its native environment, as the band had begun to make their name on explosive live shows that would lead to word-of-mouth expansion of their fanbase, and true to form listening to In/Casino/Out now feels like travelling back in time to when the band was playing basement shows, before Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodríguez-López’s The Mars Volta would play to massive crowds in the following decade. You see the beginnings of that band in how Bixler-Zavala crams verbiage into “Alpha Centauri” and the band makes the 3:13 song feel like an epic, but the live recording makes it feel manageable, most of the lyrics spat out quickly and its movements more memorable than the Volta’s proggy opuses. It’s also easy to forget how catchy the band could be, and a run of mid-album cuts proves this, including “Pickpocket,” with its instantly memorable, if incomprehensible screamed chorus. The band would also slow down to great effect on “For Now…We Toast,” which clips the distance between the band’s more melodic and aggressive leanings. But the album stands together as a whole, as well, with song after song coming at you with a warm assault of visceral guitar attacks and complex wordplay.
 
blur 21Blur Reissues
 

Blur releases a mass of reissues on LP today, as well as its Blur 21 box set, celebrating 21 years of the Britpop band. To these ears, the incredibly solid Parklife and relentlessly experimental 13 have always been the essential Blur albums, but I also have a newfound appreciation of Leisure, their first album. Before they were kings of Britpop, Blur were a fresh-faced band of whelps wielding shoegaze guitars and madchester beats into a neat package, no better than on the funk-inspired “There’s No Other Way” or throbbing “Bang.” Yes, Leisure is sort of Blur’s Pablo Honey, where the band was still finding its footing, but Leisure also stands on its own, thanks to the fact that Damon Albarn and co. had more personality than most of their countrymen in 1991. You saw the beginnings of Albarn’s experimentalism in the percussive elements underpinning the slow-burning alt-rock of “Repetition” and accordion riff looping under the dream-pop guitar squalls of “Bad Day.” Even at its most derivative, such as the “Only Shallow” aping riff of “Slow Down,” Leisure is still a an early ’90s time capsule of a record with plenty of pleasure to spare, and one that hinted at the heights Blur and Albarn would achieve later on. Maybe I just like it now because every song sounds kind of like My Bloody Valentine's "Soon." Regardless, all of the albums are worth checking out, including Blur, Modern Life is Rubbish, The Great Escape and Think Tank.
 
yaz upstairs at eric'sYaz Upstairs at Eric’s
 
In these days of excellent darkwave revivalists like Light Asylum, Yaz and its best album, Upstairs at Eric’s, seem more prescient than ever. The albums big hits all have a certain desperation that often underpins some of the best pop songs. “Don’t Go,” despite its memorable synth hook, boasts lyrics like “I turned around when I heard the sound of footsteps on the floor/Said, ‘He was a killer,’ now I know it's true/I'm dead when you walk out the door.” Vince Clarke, who penned early Depeche Mode classics like “Just Can’t Get Enough” before splitting for Yaz (and later Erasure), offers spare backdrop that favors tiny, interlocking synth riffs rather than big blankets of chords for Moyet to pour herself over. Moyet’s deep vocals hit hard throughout, especially on “Midnight” and the classic “Only You,” slow, sad new wave ballads that would be nowhere without Moyet offering some much-needed soul to a genre often saddled with wispy male vocals. Upstairs at Eric’s is a lot of fun, too, even with its more emotional tunes — Clarke’s synths mimic ’50s rock tropes and disco shimmer to great effect on “Bad Connection” and “Goodbye Seventies,” respectively, while Moyet’s exuberant kiss-offs and creepy laugh make “Situation” one of the best feel-good breakup songs around.

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Band of Horses and Kings of Leon to Tour Together This Summer

Posted by Amoebite, April 26, 2011 10:15am | Post a Comment

Rock is back, dudes! Kings of Leon and Band of Horses will mount a massive tour together this summer! Check out the dates below -- tickets go on sale here this weekend!


 

July 26 - The Wharf, Orange Beach, AL
July 27 - Aaron's Lakewood Amphitheater, Atlanta, GA
July 29 - Gexa Energy Pavilion, Dallas, TX
July 30 - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Houston, TX
Aug 02 - 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre, Tampa, FL
Aug 03 - Cruzan Amphitheater, West Palm Beach, FL
Aug 05 - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Charlotte, NC
Aug 06 - Farm Bureau Live, Virginia Beach, VA
Aug 09 - Jiffy Lube Live, Washington DCkings of leon
Aug 10 - Nikon @ Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY
Aug 12 - Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NY
Aug 13 - Comcast Theatre, Hartford, CT
Aug 16 - Darien Lake PAC, Buffalo, NY
Aug 17 - PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
Aug 19 - Comcast Center, Boston, MA
Aug 20 - Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga, NY
Aug 23 - DTE Energy Center, Detroit, MI
Aug 24 - Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati, OH
Aug 26 - First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, Chicago, IL
Aug 27 - Verizon Wireless Music Center, Indianapolis, IN
Aug 29 - Sandstone Amphitheater, Bonner Springs, KS
Aug 31 - Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Denver, CO
Sept 01 - Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Denver, CO
Sept 03 - Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV
Sept 04 - Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre, San Diego, CA
Sept 06 - Ashley Furniture Home Store Pavilion, Phoenix, AZ
Sept 08 - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Irvine, CA
Sept 10 - Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA
Sept 12 - Key Arena, Seattle, WA

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