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Amoeba Contest Winners Share the Love

Posted by Billy Gil, June 11, 2013 03:03pm | Post a Comment

she and him contestWith all the happenings at Amoeba, it’s easy to miss some of our contests, but we’re always holding some sort of contest. In fact, right now we’re holding two — enter to win tickets to see She & Him June 23 at the Hollywood Bowl (enter by June 17; more info here) and enter to win a pair of passes to the First City Festival Aug. 24-25 in Monterey, Calif., with Modest Mouse, Beach House, Passion Pit, MGMT and more (enter by June 24; more info here).

richard amoebaOur recent winners have been enjoying their spoils from various contests. Richard E. recently won tickets to see Mumford & Sons at the Hollywood Bowl. Says Richard: “The show was great! I was only really familiar with Mumford & Sons from their Grammy appearance, but my wife has been a fan for quite a while. Her enjoyment was really infectious and I’ve found myself humming songs since the show. We had a fantastic time. I have always been a person that would see any kind of live music, and this show really paid off!”

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"What's In My Bag?" Won a Webby Award

Posted by Rachael McGovern, April 30, 2013 07:24pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba won a Webby AwardOur "What's In My Bag?" series won a Webby Award today for Best Online Film & Video: Variety Show! We were up against some brilliant, funny, and thought-provoking shows by SoulPancake (who won the People's Voice Award in our category), Conan O'Brien, MIT and Fandango. It's amazing that our little series - of which we are so incredibly proud, don't get me wrong - would be nominated with those folks, let alone honored by the Webby judges with the win.

If you're not familiar with the Webbys, it's an annual international award that's been dubbed "the Internet's highest honor" by the New York Times. Some of the other winners this year include The Onion which won its 18th and 19th Webby for Best Humor Website; The Creators Project which won a Webby (and a People's Voice Award) for Best Art; Pinterest which won a Webby (and a People's Voice Award) for Best Social Media; and Dumb Ways to Die which won for Best Viral Video. Additionally, the Webbys have named Amoeba faves Grimes the Artist of the Year and Frank Ocean as the Person of the Year. See all the winners here

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50 Favorite Albums of 2011

Posted by Aaron Detroit, December 18, 2011 12:00am | Post a Comment

Aaron Detroit, Buyer at Amoeba Hollywood. As you may know, I've worked in Hollywood for 8 years, but started my time with Amoeba - way back in 1998 -  at the San Francisco store. This is my extensive list of 2011 releases that I fell in love with or had hot and heavy affairs with this year.

50 Favorite Albums of 2011



  1. Wild Beasts Smother

In 2008, Brit quartet Wild Beasts released their shaky-legged -but- stunning debut, Limbo Panto. In the four years since, the band has released two thoroughly dazzling masterpiece full-lengths of deceptively delicate indie rock, lyrically bent towards looking in the dark recesses of the heart and libido, largely sung by co-vocalist Hayden Thorpe in his trademark falsetto. Smother finds the band adding a new restraint to their arrangements that allows the tension in the lyrics to hit with hair-on-end chills. It is a singular LP by a singular band that I expect will eventually reach a Radiohead-level stratosphere. 

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Album Picks: Veronica Falls, Björk, Zola Jesus

Posted by Billy Gil, October 12, 2011 12:29pm | Post a Comment
Veronica Falls – Veronica Falls
 
While listening to Irish Grimestep or whatever genre happens to be unfathomably cool at the moment is great and all, sometimes you need meat and potatoes. In my case, that would be C86, shoegaze, college rock and that sort of thing, and Slumberland Records keeps serving up bands like sloppy joes that fulfill this particular hunger. Their latest band is Veronica Falls, which, despite their late-‘90s CW Network show sounding name, are actually a great garage pop band in the vein of Slumberland alumn Crystal Stilts, Girls Names and Black Tambourine. “Right Side of My Brain’s” bouncy pop gets C86 so right that it could have been on the original tape that spawned that genre. “The Fountain” is delectable guitar goth pop that displays one of the band’s best and at first easily overlooked tricks — pristine harmonies. “Beachy Head” injects a welcome bit of surf-rock meanness to an otherwise well-mannered album. It’s pretty much candy all over.
 
Björk – Biophilia
 
With all the hubbub surrounding Björk’s latest album (corresponding iPad apps to songs, a street date delay and rejiggering of sound), it may be easy to dismiss the album beneath it all. That would be a shame, because Biophilia is as brilliant as anything in Björk’s catalog, but that brilliance is quieter and takes repeated listens to understand compared with some of her previous efforts. Whereas she tried to recreate the violently happy turns of Debut and Post in 2007’s Volta, here she’s back to forging new sonic territory, using newly invented instruments (such as the gameleste, which combines Indonesian gamelan instruments with the key-based celeste instrument) and employing iPad-made music and programmed beats. Of course, none of that matters if it doesn’t end up sounding great, and you probably don’t need to know any of that to enjoy the songs on Biophilia, but it helps to understand the otherworldly nature of a song like “Crystalline,” which relies on the strange gameleste to build atmosphere before breaking into a hyper-intense hardcore breakbeat section. That that song and “Cosmogony,” a musical cousin to Björk classics like “Isobel” and “Bachelorette” that builds beautifully before disintegrating into a sea of descending vocals, are the most accessible songs tells you more. At its core, Biophilia is a wildly strange, even disturbing album, from the dissonant and gibberish-laden “Dark Matter” to the blood-curdling electronic sounds and ghostly vocals of “Hollow.” Then there’s “Mutual Core,” in which Björk tosses her fans a bone (although one on which the meat is tough and sinewy) with more typically “Björk” musical movements and more overtly clubby beats. But there’s something new to uncover with each listen, despite a somewhat hollow-sounding veneer, such as unusual time signatures, haunting lyrics and hidden, loping melodies. Biophilia really sounds nothing like anything else Björk has done, or anything anyone else has done, for that matter, and will probably upset some fans and detractors alike. For its gutsiness alone, it’s great; and for its more inspired moments, it’s something no music fan should miss hearing.
 
Zola Jesus – Conatus
 
For those who were expecting Zola Jesus aka Nika Roza Danilova turn around from last year’s winning Stridulum II with an album of glossy pop, think again. Sure, Conatus is her most accessible statement yet, but the album is still teaming with the experimental electronic music and ethereal vocals on which she built her name, only with slightly more of an emphasis on the electro balladry she exhibited so well on Stridulum’s “Night” and “Lightstick.” “Hikikomori” begins with throbbing synths and Danilovato’s yearning vocals intoning “blisters on my hands,” underpinned by subtle strings. On this track and several others on Conatus, you can hear the effort Danilova has put into carefully considering the album’s every movement, building songs gradually and deliberately, pulling at the heartstrings but always from afar, sometimes coming through clearly, sometimes unintelligible in a vocal styling reminiscent of Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser. Her best songs manage to do it all at once, such as in the soaring “Seekir,” in which she aims for the gut (“Is there nothing left of the mess we made?” she asks in a moment that clears the sonic din to cut through) as well as the dance floor, although the result, with intertwining, ghostly backup vocals, is too complex to simply label a dance song. You sometimes long for more moments like that on Conatus (the epic choral build of “Lick The Palm Of The Burning Handshake” being another), but its balancing act of restraint and putting it all out there makes for intriguing listening that will keep fans happy and pull in plenty of new ones.
 

out this week, 8/16 & 8/23: the war on drugs...css...active child...the muppets...

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 26, 2011 04:41pm | Post a Comment
war on drugsIn case you have not noticed, we are currently in the middle of Summer. It was like a billion degrees yesterday and it is a billion degrees today. I do love LA weather but I do also love complaining about the Summer. I love our mild Winters down here. And I do absolutely love the summer nights in Los Angeles. But I could do without the crazy hot summer days. I do know that as a planet we need the sun. So I have come to learn to love it over the years. But the goth in me still usually shields myself from the sun. More importantly I love all the things associated with Summer. I love the big summer blockbusters in the movie theater. I love the months of October through January and all the holidays associated with those months. And I love all these summer and fall albums coming out. August through November is an amazing time for music releases. All the labels are rushing to get albums out before the holidays. Just like the movie studios are rushing to get their best movies out at the end of the year for the Oscars. I guess it always depends on what you are into musically. But for me, there is a ton of my favorite bands putting out new albums in these next couple of months.

Secretly Canadian has just released the new album by The War on Drugs last week. It is called Hercules & Love AffairSlave Ambient. I am still working my way around this album. There is no denying it is a great album. But I just have not had been able to give it the time that it deserves. This is the former band of the amazing Kurt Vile. But they are most certainly still a band without him. I am still not done with his most recent album Smoke Ring For My Halo. It is one of my favorites from the first half of the year. I will warn you. The album is a downer. But sometimes you need that kind of album to get your through the day. The new Tame Impala album Innerspeaker was also finally released domestically on CD and LP last week. There is also a 2CD Collector's Edition coming out next week on the 29th. This will be the first time that this deluxe edition is available. The most recent album by Hercules & Love Affair was also released domestically last week. It is called Blue Songs. Their first self titled album featured vocals by Antony Hegarty. It is probably what helped to make the album as popular as it was. It ended up being my favorite album of 2008. But you should not be worried that Antony is not featured on this new album. The album is just as good as their first album. Plenty of electro jams to help get you through the end of Summer. I really love these guys and so should you. Maria Taylor has also just released a new album. You may know and love Maria Taylor from the band Azure Ray. This is her fourth official solo album. 

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