Amoeblog

New Albums Out Today: Lianne La Havas, Antony and the Johnsons, Niki & the Dove and More

Posted by Billy Gil, August 7, 2012 07:14pm | Post a Comment
liane la havasLianne La HavasIs Your Love Big Enough?
 
Liane La Havas’ debut is the kind of globally appealing pop record that comes along so rarely. The title track has the funky bounce of a Meshell Ndegeocello track with a big pop vocal that could land it on radio stations across the dial, while the catchy “Forget,” with its alternately belted and cool chorus, suggests a rockier Kelis. It’s La Havas’ ballads, though, where she often shines brightest. On “Lost & Found,” her lyrics are so bleak that it’s almost shocking (“You broke me and taught me to truly hate myself,” begins the chorus), given how sprightly she sounds elsewhere. Shades of classic soul (“Au Cinema”), bossa nova (“No Room For Doubt”) and jazz (“Age”) color other tracks, while somehow it avoids becoming a mishmash of unmatched ideas — everything sounds ideally effortless and true to La Havas’ identity. It’s a dynamic and addictively listenable debut that poises the 22-year-old as one of 2012’s breakout stars and one who could deliver quality records for years to come.
 
antony johnsons cut the worldAntony and the JohnsonsCut the World
 
Antony Hegarty’s latest release consists of live performances of his work with The Danish National Chamber Orchestra. As a collection it is a consummate summation of the incredible work put forth by Hegarty and his collaborators over the course of four albums, as well as some of the messages threaded throughout Hegarty’s music. The title track, which begins the album, is a stunning piece created for The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic, a theatrical representation of the life of the renowned performance artist. Hegarty then launches into a speech labeled “Future Feminism” which puts forth ideas Hegarty has represented in his music — of ecology, queer identity and feminism, exploring the idea of matriarchal forms of government being the hope for a humanity, even with the rise of Sarah Palin, as it ties to the moon, menstrual cycles and religion. It’s a fascinating, sprawling discourse that provides a setting for highlights from Hegarty’s catalog, including “Cripple and the Starfish,” “Another World” and “I Fell in Love With a Boy,” the long pause of which grows more chilling given the song’s more lush presentation. It’s by no means a greatest hits selection — no “Hope There’s Someone” or “Aeon,” for instance — but it’s a great reinterpretation of material that actually calls for such orchestration. Antony’s quivering voice soars over ballooning strings, and we’re reminded of the healing power possessed by these songs of loss and hope.
 
niki and the doveNiki & the DoveInstinct
 
Niki and the Dove create a sort of fantasy pop on Instinct. It sounds beamed in from an alternate futuristic universe of space tribes and robotic unicorns. In a more corporeal sense, the electronic pop duo drum out tribal beats electronically and unleash claustrophobic chants on “The Gentle Roar,” one of their strongest tracks. Vocalist Malin Dahlström sounds lost in the forest of metallically lush sounds created by keyboardist Gustaf Karlöf on “Mother Protect.” She comes on like one of Prince’s many protoges on the slow funk of “Last Night,” singing intoxicatingly, “last night we got married in a back seat.” Niki and the Dove share some qualities with their Swedish brethren — the warped, chirpy vocals of The Knife/Fever Ray; the space-age disco of Robyn; the alternately dark and naïve introspection of Lykke Li; and yes, the operatic drama of Welsh band Florence & the Machine. However, lyrically and vocally, Dahlström harkens back to Kate Bush and Stevie Nicks in a truer sense than some of her contemporaries — when she’s left spinning through a digital wilderness among the lovely surroundings of “Tomorrow,” you feel like you’re out there with her.
 
elle varnerElle VarnerPerfectly Imperfect
 
Glossy yet classy pop R&B with some surprises — take the fiddle (!) running throughout “Refill.” That song and its refrain (“Can I get a refill of your time?”) are a lot of fun, while other tracks leave a more lasting impression, like the incredibly soulful “Sound Proof Room,” in which Verner’s vocals sound like they could burst through any sound proof that would hold her.
 

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David Lynch Releases New Self-Directed Video for "Crazy Clown Time"

Posted by Amoebite, April 6, 2012 12:44pm | Post a Comment
David LynchThis week David Lynch released his self-directed music video for "Crazy Clown Time," the title track from his first solo album. Lynch describes the setting for the video as “an intense psychotic backyard craziness, fueled by beer" which is a pretty perfect summation. With the mood set, Lynch's sing-speak twang provides the narration for the events unfolding in the video.

Crazy Clown Time, released in November 2011 on Play It Again Sam, was recorded over a period of several months at Lynch's personal studio near Mulholland Drive with engineer and collaborator Dean Hurley. As you might expect from the director of Erasherhead, Mulholland Drive and Twin Peaks,  his music - much like his video for "Crazy Clown Time" - is echoey, weird, repetitive, foreboding, hypnotic, and fascinating.


Watch David Lynch's video for his single "Crazy Clown Time":




Watch our interview with Mr. Lynch when he visited Amoeba Hollywood in 2008 for the release of David Lynch The Lime Green Set DVD box set:

REVISITING DIRECTOR DAVID LYNCH'S BODY OF WORK

Posted by Billyjam, November 25, 2008 05:07pm | Post a Comment
eraserhead
Ever since recently receiving word that film director David Lynch would be visiting Amoeba Music Hollywood today (6:30PM but get there a little early) for an in-store signing in celebration of the release of the recommended new nine disc DVD box set collection David Lynch The Lime Green Set, I decided to do a little digging in the crates and host my own personal David Lynch film fest: going back to re-watch many of the living legend's classic creations, most of which I hadn't seen in many years.

I watched several episodes of the early nineties show Twin Peaks (which was executive co-produced by Lynch along with Mark Frost), Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, and Wild At Heart  -- all of which combined, I know, really only scratch the surface of this fine film-maker's body of work. But still it was enough of a refresher course to give this Amoeblogger a proper dose of the heart and soul of the artist behind these brilliant works.

I guess in retrospect what is foremost so striking about the 1990/91 ABC TV series Twin Peaks, to which the 1992 David Lynch film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me was a sequel of sorts, is the fact that it even made it onto network TV in the first place, and managed to last two seasons at that. It was not your typical mainstream TV fare by a long shot but like any of the best TV shows it was addictive viewing for those who got it. I guess that is the key to all of Lynch's work: you have to appreciate all of his nuances and to fully dispel everyday reality & allow yourself to submerge deep into Lynch's world -- typically a slightly surreal parallel universe that summons blue velvet by david lynchup the place of dark dreams we've all experienced at sometime --  to really get and to fully appreciate the magic David Lynch manifests on the screen. 

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