Amoeblog

The 10 Best Reunions of the 2000s

Posted by Billy Gil, January 7, 2014 01:44pm | Post a Comment

Since Stephen Malkmus ditched the likely lucrative reunion of his legendary band Pavement to continue on with his Jicks project, which released their great album Wig Out at Jagbags this week, I thought it a good time to look back at the band reunions that have popped up this new millennium. Though these reunions have both delighted and horrified fans, sometimes at the same time, a few have been so solid that it’s like our favorite bands never left us. Now get on it, Cocteau Twins!

1. Dinosaur Jr.

dinosaur jr. amoebaDinosaur Jr. frontman J Mascis and bassist/Sebadoh frontman Lou Barlow buried the hatchet in the 2000s, formally reuniting with longtime drummer Murph in 2005 to play on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson and tour. They subsequently have released three terrific albums. If you were a fan of Dinosaur Jr. but haven’t checked out any of the albums from Dino. Jr. 2.0 (gross), do it now, as they’re as good as anything the band released during its heyday. 2012’s I Bet on Sky featured the kind of more chilled-out (yet still distortion-laden) songwriting you might expect from alt-rock elder statesmen, while 2007’s Beyond felt like lighting a match in a room full of gas, exploding with bottled up riffs and energy. Lou Barlow, whose own Sebadoh reunion also ranks as one of the better ones of the 2000s, makes his first contributions to the songwriting on these albums since 1987’s You’re Living All Over Me, and the band is better for it. Combined with their live shows, which are lessons in ear-splitting noise only bested by the next band on this list, it makes them the best reunited band of the new millennium!

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Pick Up 15 Coachella Releases Digitally Before the Show

Posted by Billy Gil, April 11, 2013 05:01pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba.com has many of the bands playing at Coachella this weekend and next available digitally. Pick up some of the albums below before your drive out to the desert!

 

Dinosaur Jr. - Chocomel Daze (Live 1987)

Dinosaur Jr. Chocomel DazeRecently released live set from 1987 from the legendary college-rock band, in all their You're Living All Over Me glory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Divine Fits - A Thing Called Divine Fits

Divine fitsA surprisingly strong side project featuring Spoon's Britt Daniels and former Wolf Parade/Handsome Furs barker Dan Boeckner.

 

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New Johnny Marr Song Indicates Anticipation Well Justified for His 2013 Solo Debut

Posted by Billyjam, November 17, 2012 08:30am | Post a Comment

Johnny Marr "The Messenger" title track from Marr's 2013 solo debut

As reported here on the Amoeblog influential guitarist Johnny Marr recently announced that he will release his first solo album in the new year. The artist, who came to fame as the backbone of The Smiths sound and who has been listed as one of the top ten best rock guitarists by such entitles as Virgin Media, will both sing and play guitar on the album that he recorded earlier this year in both Manchester and Berlin. This week Marr unveiled a teaser from the album in the form the above music video for "The Messenger." The killer song indicates that the anticipation for the album by fans is well justified. "The Messenger' is the first single from the Marr debut solo album of the same name that will arrive care of Sire/ADA in Amoeba in late February 2013.

Johnny Marr To Release First Ever Solo Album

Posted by Billyjam, November 6, 2012 06:08am | Post a Comment

Johnny Marr stops into Amoeba Hollywood and does "What's In My Bag?" (2011)

Influential British guitarist Johnny Marr, who originally came to fame as the backbone of The Smiths sound and songwriting partner to Morrissey, will be releasing his first ever solo album in the new year. To be titled The Messenger, the 12-song, self-produced album will be released by Sire/ADA in late February, 2013. The long-awaited solo release will follow years of Marr recording with such other artists, besides The Smiths, as The The, Talking Heads, Electronic, Pet Shop Boys, The Cribs, and as a member of the 2007 Modest Mouse line-up for the number one Billboard Top 200 hit We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank. Marr recently announced that he would join Dinosaur Jr. onstage at Terminal 5 when they play that NYC venue in early December for the 25th anniversary of You're Living All Over Me.

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Album Picks: Grizzly Bear, James Iha, Allah-Las, How to Dress Well, Plus More Albums Out Today

Posted by Billy Gil, September 17, 2012 05:23pm | Post a Comment
Grizzly BearGrizzly Bear – Shields

One of the year’s finest rock albums comes with Grizzly Bear’s Shields, improbably even even more consistent album than 2009’s excellent Veckatimest. Beginning with the soft explosion of “Sleeping Ute,” in which Daniel Rossen sings of his “wanderings dreams” amid regal electric guitars, fluttering synths and acoustics, Chris Taylor’s grounding basslines and Chris Bear’s dynamic drumwork, Shields continues through a back-and-forth between the more immediate pop thrills of Veckatimest and more ambient feel of their older material. “Speak in Rounds” has the same sort of glorious harmonies we heard on “While You Wait for the Others” but with more rock propulsion than the band usually employs. Meanwhile, tracks like the wordless “Adelama” and slowly shuffling “The Hunt” highlight their placid side. But Shields is also a progression of their sound in addition to a refinement of it. “Yet Again” scales back the grabbiness of an older song like “Two Weeks” for a lushly expansive take on the rock single, perhaps showing some influence from Radiohead, with whom they toured a few years back in a dream bill. Similarly extended and confident, “A Simple Answer” is one of Daniel Rossen’s finest showcases to date, building on his typically mysterious melodies to a gratifying, grandiose chorus. An addictive listen, it’s easy to lose yourself in the layers of Shields and find something newly impressive each time.
 
james ihaJames Iha – Look to the Sky
 
Anyone who’s been a big Smashing Pumpkins fan knows the pleasures the Pumpkins’ “George Harrison” could bring with his subtle guitarwork and gorgeous songs like “Go,” “Blew Away” and “Take Me Down.” Fourteen years after his first solo album released while still in the Pumpkins, James Iha is back with a fuller sound that capitalizes both on his folky Neil Young-inspired leanings and his ability to create spectral space rock soundscapes. Both qualities are in full flair on the beautiful “To Who Knows Where,” which features a typically beautiful Iha chorus and an awesome space-folk breakdown in the middle. Classic Pumpkins fans can find plenty to sink their teeth into in songs like “Gemini,” which moves from eerie folk to swoony big-chord rock. Elsewhere, he breaks from his past more decisively, as on the ’60s by way of ’80s pop “Till Next Tuesday” and the addled blues of “Appetite,” moments that show Iha has more tricks up his sleep than at first appears. Some of his folkier tracks veer toward sappy, but Iha’s smart production, learned from the interim years of producing for acts like Cat Power and Isobel Campbell as well as various remixes, usually saves things with orchestral flourishes and surprises like the twinkling synths that pop up at the end of the Karen O duet “Waves.” It’s an assured work that speaks to the talents of Iha as a guitarist, producer and songwriter who knows how to paint wonders from a modest palette.

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