Enter to Win Beach House's "Bloom" on Glow-in-the-Dark Vinyl! Only at Amoeba San Francisco!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, June 4, 2012 05:42pm | Post a Comment

Head down to Amoeba San Francisco to enter to win Beach House's new album Bloom
on glow-in-the-dark vinyl!

Wowsa! This two-LP set is extremely limited! 
Beach House Glow in the Dark Record LP Vinyl Bloom

Album Picks: Beach House, Best Coast, My Bloody Valentine

Posted by Billy Gil, May 15, 2012 06:08pm | Post a Comment
Beach House BloomAnticipation has been high for the new albums from Baltimore dream-pop duo Beach House and Cali-cool pop-rock duo Best Coast, and luckily neither disappoints. Beach House continues the upward trajectory set by their previous three album — the haunting, murky lo-fi of their self-titled debut, the more grandiose Devotion and its modern classic follow-up, Teen Dream —with an even fuller, more confident statement on Bloom. The album jumps from the springboard set by Teen Dream’s “Norway” into more definitively pop territory, albeit the sort of cerebral goth-pop pioneered by Kate Bush and Cocteau Twins. Like that song, “Lazuli” emits a sky-searing chorus of Victoria Legrand’s cloudy vocals that is simply glorious, the kind of thing directors dream about hearing in their film’s opening sequences, eliciting sudden and unspeakable emotion. The band combines this with verses that are more mysterious and harder to recall — it’s a perfect example of the band’s strength in fusing archness and pop structure, retaining their intrigue while delivering hooks. Every song on Bloom is a highlight, as the album moves from the cascading keys and chiming guitars of opener “Myth” to propulsive “The Hours” and “New Year,” perhaps their clearest stabs yet at radio-ready pop-rock, through closer “Irene,” which stretches its music-box arrangement to epic proportions, boosted by Alex Scally’s hauntingly spare yet melodically uplifting guitar lines. Every song on Bloom somehow sounds strange and new, yet somehow feels intimately familiar upon first listen. Listening is like unearthing someone else’s memories, each song like a glittering diamond that has just been waiting to be found.
Best Coast The Only PlaceMeanwhile, Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino documents the process of entering adulthood and looking for lasting love the way few singer-songwriters can on The Only Place. Her sophomore full-length album is a more grown-up affair than the anxiety-pinned sunshine pop of Crazy For You, aided by springy, shimmering production from Jon Brion, but luckily Cosentino hasn’t changed too much. The longing Cosentino communicated in songs like Crazy For You’s “Boyfriend” is still present in songs like the swaying countrified ballad “No One Like You,” asking “if I sleep on the floor, will it make you love me more?” The simplicity of her lyrics belies their cleverness, as she pleads with her subject by offering to leave in order to make him stay. Throughout The Only Place, Cosentino and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno reference ’50s and ’60s country starlets and girl groups, creating Phil Spector-style melodrama with crystalline guitars and lyrics yearning for individualism within codependence in songs like “How They Want Me To Be.” Throughout, Bruno and Brian keep things chugging along nicely in order to allow Cosentino’s personality to shine and not wallow too much in sentimentality, giving the haunting, Julee Cruise-style ballad “Dreaming My Life Away” some nice propulsive drum work, an improvement from an earlier, sparer recording, while “The Only Place” and “Let’s Go Home” burn with college-rock energy to spare. And Cosentino has never sounded better, her voice now brimming with confidence and pulling the heartstrings directly rather than from behind a shield of reverb and lo-fi sonics. It’s impossible not to be affected as she sings simple lines like “I wanna see you, for ever and ever” in the show-stopping “Up All Night.” She makes us feel the simplest sentiments as deeply as the first time we felt them, a hallmark of a truly great songwriter and performer. (The LP comes with a free bonus 7" while supplies last.)
My Bloody Valentine Loveless And I would be remiss not to mention the reissues of My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, Isn’t Anything and EPs 1988-1991, including songs released between those two albums, plus previously unreleased songs from that era. I’m not the biggest reissue person — often seems like a money grab with few good unheard songs and tweaks only an audiophile can hear, but this is My Bloody Valentine we’re talking about. The band’s two shoegaze classics sound better than ever, as only the most delicate nob twiddling has taken place at the hands of Kevin Shields. Anyone who doesn’t own these two albums, two of the best ever in my humble opinion, should get these import CDs right now. Even if you don’t buy CDs anymore. It’s time. Meanwhile the EP collection is a no-brainer for any fan of the band, as My Bloody Valentine’s throwaways tend to be better than most bands’ entire catalogs. Superfans may have the material Tremolo and You Made Me Realise EPs already, all excellent of course, but not songs like “Good For You” and “How Do You Do It,” terrific jangly pop songs gnarled by shuddering noise that sound nearly as good as anything on Isn’t Anything.

10 Record Store Day Picks

Posted by Billy Gil, April 19, 2012 06:55pm | Post a Comment
Record Store Day is great for any number of reasons — supporting record stores and the music community, hearing DJ sets from the likes of Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning. But in the end it’s all about the exclusive and new releases. Here are 10 picks from the many releases coming out April 21. (Read a more comprehensive list here, and download the full list here.)
animal collectiveAnimal Collective – Transverse Temporal Gyrus
Ripped from elsewhere on the Amoeblog: In March 2010, Animal Collective and visual artist Danny Perez put on an installation called "Transverse Temporal Gyrus" at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. For the audio, each member of the band made individual sounds and songs. Over the course of two 3-hour performances, the basic tracks were fed into a computer program that randomized the track order, and sometimes randomly combined stems from one track with stems from another. The program also panned the music in various directions around a 36 channel surround sound system that ran through 36 speakers set up from the top of the Guggenheim's ramp to the bottom. The music on this 12" is a collage made consisting of the original tracks, as well as live recordings made inside the Guggenheim before the doors were opened to the public. It will be the only physical format on which any of the music will be released.
Plus it’s new Animal Collective!
Arcade Fire – Sprawl II
Arcade Fire’s Blondie-ish “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” was undoubtedly the highlight of The Suburbs and showed the band still has some tricks up its sleeve. The Soulwax remix included here tastefully gives it the dancefloor feel it calls for without just throwing a house beat over the song and calling it a day.

Continue reading...

Local Bits: Wavves Remix of Mr. Little Jeans, New Beach House, Festival Madness

Posted by Billy Gil, April 13, 2012 10:06am | Post a Comment
Mr. Little Jeans – Runaway (Wavves remix)
Mr. Little Jeans’ electro-pop ditty “Runaway” was already a pretty sweet Spring surprise of a song, but the L.A.-by-way-of-London rising star has been remixed by So. Cal. in human form Nathan Williams aka Wavves. I have to say I’m digging this remix even more than the original, and I’m not really a remix guy. Williams slows down and reverbs out her vocals to sound like they’re whispering through seafoam, while adding heavy drums and, I’m gonna say, naughty Nuggets organs. I think I like this remix so much because it’s like a big welcome to L.A., stripping a song of its cosmopolitan cool and washing it in sonic warmth. We’re happy to have you, Mr. Little Jeans.


New Beach House song “Lazuli” — I don’t care that they’re not from L.A.
Does the new Beach House song “Lazuli” sound like Enya? Do I love this new Beach House song? Does this new Beach House song sound like Enya but is still somehow amazing? Do I love Enya? Do I kind of like Enya sometimes? What is a lazuli? Does Beach House spend a lot of time researching things like rare bright blue stones that sound cool and mysterious for sick song titles? (Preorder the new Beach House album Bloom now! And come to Record Store Day April 21 to buy the "Lazuli" single!)

Desert Daze 
Coachella needs me to hype them like I need to hear that terrible Fun. song again (thanks, Chevy!), but there’s still time to make it to Desert Daze, a festival that started yesterday and runs through April 22. Today the biddies at L.A. Record along with Blundertown and Burger Records are throwing a massive show with Bleached, Audacity, Pangea, Lovely Bad Things and so many more L.A. goodies. The show is only a $5 suggested donation. It takes place at a secret location near Dillon’s Roadhouse in North Palm Springs; email to book a room. (Disclaimer: I have no idea if there are any rooms left available, but email them and find out before it’s too late! Unless it already is.)
Highlights from the rest of the festival:
Saturday: Moving Units, GangiDante vs. Zombies (ALSO: see them live for free at Amoeba Hollywood tonight at 7 p.m.),
Monday: Allah Las, Driftwood Singers, Pool Honeys
Tuesday: The Fresh & Onlys, Crystal Antlers, Babies on Acid, Henry Clay People (hear their newly released jam “25 For the Rest of Our Lives,” courtesy of
Wednesday: Breakestra, Funky Sole DJs Miles and Clifton
Saturday: Dead Meadow, Spindrift, Dirt Dress
Sunday: Akron/Family, Here We Go Magic, The Entrance Band

Win a Pair of VIP Passes to Treasure Island Music Fest!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 28, 2011 03:44pm | Post a Comment

The Treasure Island Music Festival celebrates its fifth year with an incredible two-day lineup of the hottest indie acts around!

The weekend of October 15th and 16th, Death Cab For Cutie, Empire of The Sun, DFA 1979, Beach House, The Hold Steady, Cut Copy, and many more will play on the island in the middle of San Francisco Bay. Along with two stages of music and its signature Ferris Wheel, the festival will also have art installations, food vendors, and tons of local independent merchants

Enter to win a pair of VIP passes for the festival ONLINE or enter to win at either Amoeba San Francisco or Amoeba Berkeley!

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