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10 Up-and-Coming Artists You Should Get to Coachella Early For

Posted by Billy Gil, April 9, 2014 09:16am | Post a Comment

We’re all excited about OutKast reuniting for Coachella. And who doesn’t love seeing The Knife or Arcade Fire? But there are plenty of just-under-the-radar bands playing the two-weekend festival (April 11-13 and 18-20). Here’s our list of 10 bands it’s worth getting there early for. (And by the way, Coachella set times have been announced.)

 

Flatbush Zombies

Friday at 12:25 p.m.

flatbush zombiesPart of the “Beast Coast” movement, the Brooklyn hip-hop group proves the music scene there is more than just a bunch of skinny white dudes with guitars. The acid-rap group debuted its Wu-Tang-inspired rhymes on this year’s It’s All a Matter of Perspective EP and a handful of mixtapes, but we’ve yet to see a full album. Be there so you can say you saw them before they blew up.

 

Wye Oak

Friday at 1:05 p.m.

wye oakSimilarly to another Baltimore duo, Wye Oak spin out beautiful tunes highlighted by Jenn Wasner’s husky, emotive vocals. But now the band has moved to Portland and ditched the dreamy guitars entirely, remaking the band’s sound for its upcoming album Shriek, due April 29 on Merge (preorder on LP or CD). The album’s lead single, “The Tower,” is stuttering, strange and alluring art-pop closer to St. Vincent than Beach House.

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50 Essential Albums Released in 2013

Posted by Aaron Detroit, November 30, 2013 02:45pm | Post a Comment

Aaron Detroit, Buyer at Amoeba Hollywood. I've worked in Hollywood for nine years, but started my time with Amoeba - way back in 1998 -  at the San Francisco store. Here is my extensive list of new essential listening, released in 2013. There is a wide range of genres and artists represented here because musical passion shouldn't be static!

1. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual
The Knife Shaking the Habitual    


After a seven-year hiatus (not including 2010’s collaborative opera with Matt Sims and Planningtorock,) the Swedish sister/brother duo crafted something utterly singular with this sprawling, conceptual, yet immensely thrilling triple-LP. Habitual lyrically challenges gender constructs and unchecked privilege against visceral (and sometimes monstrous) techno that also refuses any box you throw over it. 

 

These New Puritans Field of Reeds



2. These New Puritans - Field of Reeds
   
 No guitars, no dubstep breaks, no angular post-punk posturing. Jack Barnett & Co. look to 20th century composers and Fado for inspiration on their third LP. Woodwinds, brass, field recordings, a magnetic resonator piano and additional vocals from Portuguese vocalist Elisa Rodrigues move TNP into a whole other category of artist, far away from the faceless NME hordes they once mingled with. 
 
3. David Bowie - The Next Day
 
 David Bowie The Next DayQuite honestly, it’s his best since his last great LP --33 years ago--Scary Monsters. This isn’t anything but Bowie being himself, but the emotional weight of his lyrics give the new tracks a vitality missing from much of his work in the previous decade. It’s exhilarating throughout, with most of his famous tropes (Space!!) sounding somehow fresh. New classics like the title track, “Dirty Boys,” the Scott Walker-nodding “Heat,” plus the stellar Bowie-doing-Morrissey-doing-his-best-Bowie moment on “You Feel So Lonely You Could Die.” 
 

Holden The Inheritors

50 Essential Albums Released in 2012

Posted by Aaron Detroit, December 5, 2012 11:00am | Post a Comment

Aaron Detroit, Buyer at Amoeba Hollywood. I've worked in Hollywood for eight years, but started my time with Amoeba - way back in 1998 -  at the San Francisco store. This is my extensive list of 2012 releases that I fell in love with or had serious affairs over the past 365 days. 2012, for me, was a surprising and amazing year in music. Nearly all 50 releases here could have been a Top-Ten contender almost any other year, and the Top Ten is full of records that could easily have been #1.



50 Essential Albums of 2012


1.  SCOTT WALKER Bish Bosch (4AD) 

The 6-year-long wait was well worth it, as is usually the case with Walker. This isn't the latest indie background music du jour - It's an Absurdist's symphony. Melody is eschewed for repetition, but you still walk away with the damned thing in your head. E-bows, machetes as percussion and disturbing (as well as amusing) scatological metaphors are some of the unlikely ingredients that make up this terrifying (and weirdly infectious) beauty. There's really nothing else like it, so enjoy figuring it out for the rest of your life.  






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