Amoeblog

Album Picks: Daniel Rossen, Julia Holter, The Men, Tanlines

Posted by Billy Gil, March 20, 2012 02:20pm | Post a Comment

daniel rossen silent hour/golden mileDaniel Rossen’s Silent Hour/Golden Mile EP came out today, and true to form for Grizzly Bear’s Rossen, it doesn’t disappoint. Though he’s perhaps the lesser-known entity of Grizzly Bear (the other being gravy-voiced Ed Droste), everything Rossen has released to this point, both within the band (his gorgeous “Deep Blue Sea," for instance”) or without it (as part of Department of Eagles) has born an unmistakable stamp. It’s a tribute to his talent that you can say that without being able to describe just what that stamp is. It’s a certain mysteriousness that is part of what makes Grizzly Bear so alluring, where you’re very much hearing folk-rock with a kind of doo-wop vocal delivery — sounds simple enough — but everything is curiously out of reach. Lyrics are more suggestive than descriptive, intimating nostalgia and loss without really being forthright about it, and arrangements tend to spiral out rather than circle back to where they’ve started. Silent Hour/Golden Mile is actually more direct than some of Rossen’s other work. “Up On High” wouldn’t be out of place on a Grizzly Bear album, while “Silent Song” and “Golden Mile” are relatively straightforward rock songs that still spin off from typical construction, with spindly guitars and high, cooing vocals that remind me a bit of mid-period Radiohead without actually sounding anything like that. Both songs also benefit from hummable moments — not something Rossen is always known for — as well as the kind of high, lap steel guitar lines found famously in Santo & Johnny’s “Sleepwalk” or George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord.” At five songs, Silent Hour/Golden Mile leaves you wanting for much more, which I’m guessing we’ll get in the form of the next Grizzly Bear or Department of Eagles album, but the EP is far from a departure or indulgence. It’s more like a treat, an appetizer for something bigger.

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Local Bits: New Tracks from Princeton, TRMRS, Races

Posted by Billy Gil, February 10, 2012 11:26am | Post a Comment
princetonPrinceton – Florida

Princeton have gotten increasingly pop-oriented and more electronic over the past couple of years. “Florida” is the latest example of their evolution, a richly detailed Rhodes piano-led driving jam that feels like cruising beachside, either in Miami or their native So. Cal. Check out its Cosmic Kids remix too for even more chill vibes. Princeton play Café Bleu Feb. 16, and their new album, Remembrance of Things to Come, is due Feb. 21 on Hit City U.S.A./Easter Everywhere.

 

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Show Report: Portishead at the Shrine, Cut Copy/Washed Out at the Palladium

Posted by Billy Gil, October 20, 2011 05:55pm | Post a Comment
Portishead’s two-show run at the Shrine Auditorium began Oct. 18 with a night of new and old songs filtered through the band’s singular and sour lens. The set was heavy with songs from the harsh, emotional Third, my personal favorite Portishead album, as they began with “Silence,” singer Beth Gibbons gripping the microphone as if for dear life (and rarely leaving this pose) and singing as if it were her dying breath. Their more well-known songs (“The Rip,” “Sour Times”) sounded perfectly rehearsed and terrific, but even more revelatory live were songs that are subtler pleasures on record —“Magic Doors” and “Threads” aren’t my favorites on Third, but live they erupted with power, particularly “Threads,” in which Gibbons let ’er rip in the show’s most moving moment. Weirdly, a song a lot of Portishead fans don’t like — the spare, militaristic “Machine Gun” — got a huge response, accompanied by some extremely creepy visuals that looked like someone crawling through an attic, somewhere between The Shining and “Ghost Hunters.” I couldn’t help but notice how wonderful it really is to have a band like Portishead be so popular as to sell out the Shrine two nights in a row, culling together young and aging hipsters and normies alike to listen to music that, at its core, is very strange and disconcerting.
 
Cut Copy
Someone was clearly "feelin' the love" at Cut Copy.

Last week I saw Cut Copy with Washed Out opening, and I have to say for a show that wasn’t really on my radar, it really blew me away. The bands played Oct. 12 at the Palladium (which smelled like garbage to me for some reason). Washed Out was typically great, although a problem with seeing them live is that, like on record, the songs bleed together and it’s hard to recall which song is which. But their set was involving nonetheless, managing to sound melancholy through all the chill vibes. Cut Copy pretty much blew the roof off, playing songs from this year’s great Zonoscope like the “Owner of a Lonely Heart”-ish “Hanging Onto Every Heartbeat.” You forget how many great, guitary dance singles Cut Copy has until you hear them all at once, like In Ghost Colours’ badass “Lights & Music.” I don’t remember hearing Zonoscope’s “Alisa” (bummer), but there were enough jams to make it through the night — “Pharoahs & Pyramids,” “Hearts on Fire” and “Need You Know,” songs that occupy some fabulous middle space between My Bloody Valentine and Ace of Base.

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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!