Amoeblog

Pick up the 2014 Grammy Winners on CD and LP

Posted by Billy Gil, January 28, 2014 11:41am | Post a Comment

The 2014 Grammy Awards took place over the weekend, with big winners including Daft Punk and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. We were excited to see Grammy love given to Amoeba friends like La Santa Cecilia and The Civil Wars, while best alternative album went to Pitchfork and Rolling Stone's favorite album of 2013, Vampire Weekend's Modern Vampires Of The City. A lot of people were talking about Imagine Dragons' performance with Kendrick Lamar, while our favorite has to be Beyonce's opening performance of "Drunk in Love" with her husband, Jay Z.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With British Singer/Songwriter King Krule

Posted by Amoebite, January 14, 2014 06:41pm | Post a Comment
King Krule

Known to his mum as Archy Marshall, the South East London native is known globally to his fans as the baritone crooner King Krule. What started with humble beginnings beatmaking in his bedroom, alone on a malfunctioning laptop, is now a full-fledged music career at the tender age of 19. And the kid is really good. Pop mega star Beyonce and underground Hip Hop phenom Earl Sweatshirt have both voiced their praises for King Krule. A recent tour stop in Southern California saw back to back sold out dates at The Echo. Despite not having a radio hit, King Krule has already garnered major buzz. 

king KruleAlthough he first cultivated a cult following via free digital downloads, Archy Marshall prefers the hiss and dust of vinyl over the digital format. Most teenagers have little to no knowledge about music pre-MP3 or digital download. Few know what it's like to go digging for vinyl at a local record store, but King Krule is the exception. Raised on Jazz, R&B, Rock and Hip Hop, Archy Marshall has all the makings of an old school musician. His debut album, 6 Feet Beneath The Moon, was released on his 19th birthday. 

On a recent trip to Amoeba Hollywood, King Krule hung out with our cameras for another awesome episode of "What's In My Bag?" This is definitely a must-see video, with King Krule showing off a very deep and wide musical palette. Given his selections it is no wonder why his music is winning fans all over the world. He kicks off things with a very cool picture disc of The Damned's Live In Newcastle. A huge fan of soul music, Marshall picks up Donny Hathaway's Extension of A Man and The Singers Unlimited's Just In Time. All of his selections are on wax including Talking Heads' Remain In Light and the Pixies' Doolittle. Kudos to King Krule for keeping the vinyl alive!

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Album Picks: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Banks, Patrick Cowley

Posted by Billy Gil, January 7, 2014 11:02am | Post a Comment

Stephen Malkmus & The JicksWig Out at Jagbags (CD or LP)

stephen malkmus the jicks wig out at jagbags amoebaAmid all the reunions of ’90s bands, Pavement’s was an anomaly—no new material, just some shows, a best-of release and then kaput, all within the year 2010. That’s perhaps a good thing, since it gives people a chance to focus on frontman Stephen Malkamus’ work both solo and with the Jicks, which has been largely excellent—and underrated. Wig Out at Jagbags finds Malkamus and co. loose and having fun, but still writing solid songs that stick. After a couple of jammy numbers, the album picks up with the poppy “Lariat,” which funnily seems to call out Malkmus’ own fan base (“we grew up listening to music from the best decade ever!” he sings at the conclusion). Alt-rock revivalism gives way to a piano-led rock ballad on “Houston Hades.” “Rumble at the Rainbo” finds the band poking fun at its own elder status within the underground community—“come and join us in this punk rock tune/come slam dancing with some ancient dudes,” Malkamus sings. The more improvy numbers might lose some people, even if relistening to Pavement finds as much emphasis on exploration as melody, but they always come back with a catchy tune—“Chartjunk” features horns and Malkamus playing a not-jokey guitar solo, and seeming to enjoying every minute of it; “Independence Street” is a Velvets-esque, dry ballad; and “Surreal Teenagers” closes the album on an energetic high. With an album as fun to listen to as Wig Out at Jagbags, we’ll let Malkamus close the book on Pavement and move into a new era.

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Artists Pick Their Favorite Albums of 2013

Posted by Billy Gil, December 30, 2013 02:33pm | Post a Comment

We've been compiling our own Best of 2013 lists for a while now, so why don't we ask some of our favorite local artists what they were spinning this year?

gabe fulvimar gap dream amoebaGabe Fulvimar of Gap Dream

“I really, really really did like [Daft Punk’s] Random Access Memories. I’ve seen it make it on the lists this year, but it seems like it’s not really getting too high up there. People are being kind of shitty to that record. It’s like a Rocky soundtrack or something. When that record came out this year, I was so stoked, I didn’t even know a new Daft Punk record was coming out. I know the one that came out before this last one didn’t do too well, and I knew they were kind of moving into soundtrack territory. That’s usually a clue that they’ve found their way into the golden land of making cinema scores. I was like, good for them, they’re geniuses. But I was blown away. It’s such a great blending of like modern pop music, which isn’t really that great, with classic pop music. Overall it’s just a really good pop record.”

Gap Dream's latest album is Shine Your Light.

Read my interview with Fulvimar here.

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Remembering Etta James (1938 - 2012)

Posted by Billyjam, January 21, 2012 08:18am | Post a Comment
Wow. What a sad week it has been for blues, R&B, and funk fans with the passing of Jimmy Castor, Johnny Otis, and then yesterday morning (Jan. 20th) more sad news arrived with word that Etta James had died in Riverside, California following complications from leukemia, which she had been undergoing treatment for for some years. She was 73 years of age but was just about to celebrate her 74th birthday next week. 

Born in LA and raised in the Fillmore District of San Francisco, Etta James (who won four Grammys in her lifetime) was loved by music fans worldwide and was inducted into both the Blues Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Her music could be filed under blues, R&B, rock and roll, and even jazz sometimes (her album Mystery Lady: Songs of Billie Holiday won her a jazz Grammy). Even though James is best known for her soothing soulful rendition of "At Last," I personally always thought of the singer, who I saw in concert many times and was always blown away by her performances, as a gritty soulful blues singer since she always brought so much raw emotion and passion to her music. As anyone who has ever seen James in concert will attest, she brought sexy (or "raunchy" as some said) to her stage act in which she always gave it her all.

       

James was discovered by Johnny Otis, who in a tragic twist of coincidence passed just 3 days earlier this week, back when she was just a teen and recorded her first record when she was only 15. That record was “Roll With Me Henry,” which -- because of its sexual innuendo -- had its title changed to “The Wallflower" and as such became a 1954 hit on Billboard's Rhythm-and-Blues chart. A year later, a more whitewashed, toned-down version of the song retitled "Dance with me Henry" by white singer Georgia Gibbs became a mainstream number one Billboard pop charts hit. Understandably, that bummed out the black singer who had created the song.

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