Amoeblog

10 Songs to Download Now: Mikal Cronin, Hanni El Khatib, Cayucas, Classixx, Small Black and More

Posted by Billy Gil, May 14, 2013 12:29pm | Post a Comment

Starting a new feature to highlight some recent tracks available to download on the Amoeba site. Take a listen and if you like them, add them to your Amoeba shopping cart (you won’t be charged until you check out). All downloads are in the $.98 MP3 format; visit the album page to pick up higher-res M4A or WAV files.

 

mikal cronin mciiMikal Cronin – “Weight”

Starting with a stately piano and acoustic jangle, “Weight” opens Mikal Cronin’s excellent MCII on a classy note. Those Rubber Soul-style harmonies and crunching guitars at the chorus don’t hurt, either. This one’s a free download. (From the album MCII)

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ancient animalsAncient Animals – “Teen Wolf”

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Album Picks: Vampire Weekend, Small Black, Eluvium, Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood, Classixx, Wild Nothing

Posted by Billy Gil, May 14, 2013 10:28am | Post a Comment

Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires Of The City

vampire weekend modern vampires of the cityCD $12.98

LP $18.98

Limited Edition LP $19.98

Download $9.98

Every time the world turns against Vampire Weekend, they have a way of turning around and shattering expectations. From the get-go, the band was dogged with Strokes comparisons and scoffs of Ivy League grads pilfering African music while singing about rich people. But none of those things could stop people from enjoying their immensely enjoyable first album, their underrated second one and now their third pop opus, Modern Vampires of the City. It’s low-key like Contra, but Modern Vampires’ hooks are silkier and more ingratiating. “Step” waltzes with a gorgeous collegiate melody, featuring some of the finest singing to date by Ezra Koenig, who’s finally mastered that Paul Simon trill. He also extends his voice beyond its comfort zone, taking on Buddy Holly-style hiccupping and extending his range up and down (aided by digital skewing) while the band rocks a solid shuffle on the cleverly titled “Diane Young.” It’s one of their best singles yet. Koenig’s lyrics, too, retain their wittiness and specificity, though they are open enough to make your own implications — “though we live on the U.S. dollar, you and me we got our own sense of time,” he sings memorably in “Hannah Hunt,” which ends with a beautiful, well-earned climax in which Koenig tears his lungs out belting. The band mostly stays supportive, only going full-tilt on a few songs, like the galloping “Worship You,” which allows Koenig to spit verse at lightning speed, or pulling out grand pop moments in “Unbelievers” and the uber-strange “Ya Hey,” which pairs its intricate melodies with hyper-warped vocal tricks. Modern Vampires doesn’t go for obvious, occasionally obscuring itself in too much oddity and not ripping loose often enough. But few bands at this level are still taking these many chances, and pulling it off more often than not. Vampire Weekend’s freewheeling Modern Vampires of the City firmly perches the band back in the top echelon of bands making music today.

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Weekly Roundup: Classixx, IO Echo, Kisses, GRMLN, The Ross Sea Party, Sonny & The Sunsets, Thee Oh Sees, and more

Posted by Billy Gil, April 25, 2013 03:36pm | Post a Comment

Classixx Releases ‘All You’re Waiting For,’ Featuring LCD Soundsystem's Nancy Whang

classixxClassixx’s recent singles in advance of Hanging Gardens, the L.A. act’s upcoming debut LP due May 14 on Innovative Leisure, have gotten their fair share of press, but now they’ve gone and dropped their best jam yet, featuring cool as F vocals from LCD Soundsystem’s Nancy Whang. Here’s your early summer jam.

 

IO Echo Unveil Interactive Video

io echoI’m already a fan of L.A. group IO Echo and their recently released shoegazey electro-pop album, Ministry of Love. Now they’ve released a cool interactive video for the title track that just makes them that much cooler. Wow. Why don’t more bands do stuff like this? And more importantly, do I win something if I rearrange singer Ioanna Gika correctly in the beginning? Check it out on VICE’s Noisey blog.

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Weekly Roundup: Classixx, Hanni El Khatib, Bleached, IO Echo, Mikal Cronin

Posted by Billy Gil, March 28, 2013 10:36am | Post a Comment

Classixx Announce Remix EP; Preorder Hanni El Khatib's 'Head in the Dirt'

ClassixxLeading up to the May 14 release of their long-awaited debut LP, Hanging Gardens, L.A. duo Classixx have announced an EP with remixes of their recent single, the infectious disco jammer “Holding On,” will be released April 2. It features this slightly slowed down yet no less shimmering remix by Jerome LOL, among others. You can download the original “Holding On” here.

Speaking of remixes, Classixx also recently remixed fellow Angeleno and garage rocker Hanni El Khatib’s track “Penny”; check out the remix, the original and preorder Hanni El Khatib’s Head in the Dirt (CD or LP), due April 30, also on Innovative Leisure.

 

Bleached Premiere “Dead in Your Head,” Album Out Next Week

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Weekly Roundup: FIDLAR, The Soft Moon, Classixx, Cillie Barnes, Thee Oh Sees, Shannon and the Clams, Sonny and the Sunsets, Audacity

Posted by Billy Gil, March 7, 2013 03:52pm | Post a Comment

FIDLAR – “Max Can’t Surf” video

FIDLAR Amoeba HollywoodLoveable L.A. garage punks FIDLAR have a new video for “Max Can’t Surf,” one of the best tracks from their self-titled debut record, built on classic-rock riffs with lyrics about Del Taco and a dude with no balance. The video follows band members on an acid trip via interstellar skateboards that look like the hoverboards from Back to the Future II. Too fun! See more pics from their Amoeba performance here, and read my interview with the band here. They’re also going on tour with Wavves, whose upcoming Afraid of Heights is due March 26 and it up for preorder; check ’em out together at the Echo March 20 and The Smell April 21.

 

The Soft Moon – “Insides” video

The Soft MoonOakland-based The Soft Moon aka Luis Vasquez has a video for “Insides,” a standout from last year’s darkwave release Zeros. Really nice effects on this, sort of looks like a graphic novel streamed through a projector and fits the gloomy nature of the song. It also puts the shy-seeming Vasquez in the center of the video, as does the song for an artist who primarily lets the music do the talking but who steps out of the shadows on this track.

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