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8 New Holiday Releases That Don't Suck

Posted by Billy Gil, December 10, 2014 05:04pm | Post a Comment

holiday releases that don't suck

Last year I made a list of 10 holiday albums that don’t suck. Well there’s a whole batch of new ones out now, so listen up!

Mark Kozelek Sings Christmas Carols

mark kozelek sings christmas carols lpIndie rock firebrand Mark Kozelek, who released one of the best albums of 2014 with his Sun Kil Moon release Benji, makes a perfect fit for these churchy holiday tunes, with his cozy, crackling voice and gentle acoustic fingerpicking. The song choices are obvious, yet Kozelek imbues them with such spare beauty that it’s impossible not to be touched by classics like “Away in a Manger.”

 

Seth MacFarlaneHoliday for Swing!

seth macfarlane holiday for swing lpWhat do you know? “Family Guy” and “American Dad” creator Seth MacFarlane ain’t a bad crooner. Actually I guess we all already knew that, since he sings regularly on “Family Guy” and released an album already, 2011’s Music Is Better Than Words, but it’s still remarkable to hear him play it straight, rein in the sarcasm and keep it classy—you keep waiting for him to drop an F-bomb or toilet joke, but he doesn’t. He works with a 52-piece orchestra here, singing only a couple of well-known classics like “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” and picking a few lesser-known tunes from the ’50s and ’60s.Best are his duets with Norah Jones (“Little Jack Frost Get Lost”) and Sara Bareilles (“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”).

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Flaming Lips To Release "7 Skies H3" CD & "Sgt. Pepper's" Tribute LP with guests including Sean Lennon, Miley Cyrus, and Moby

Posted by Billyjam, May 15, 2014 03:40pm | Post a Comment

In addition to the CD version of their album 7 Skies H3 (previously a 2011 Record Store Day limited vinyl release) that will arrive in Amoeba next week (May 19th) the always busy / Beatles-loving, three decades strong Oklahoma band The Flaming Lips  are planning on releasing later this year their Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band tribute album to be entitled, With A Little Help From My Fwends, that Warner Brothers will release on October 28th - coming 47 years after the original Fab Four release in June 1967. As well as being a nod to the Beatles' lyrics the tribute album title "With A Little Help From My Fwends" is a reference to the album's guest spots from some of their friends or "fwends" rather.

These guests will include (Lips side project) the Electric Würms, MGMT, Sean Lennon, MMJ, Foxygen, Phantogram, plus Miley Cyrus and Moby who both collaborate on the lead single / track "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds." That digital only (for now) advance single/track will also be a benefit release with a portion of funds raised to be donated to The Bella Foundation in Oklahoma City; a non-profit organization based in the band's hometown  that assists low-income, elderly or terminally ill pet owners with the cost of veterinary care. For more music and news on the Lips visit both the The Flaming Lips page on the Amoeba store, and the band's website. Below is a fan made video of the band along with Miley Cyrus performing the aforementioned "Lucy" at a concert in Manchester two months ago.

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Two New "What's In My Bag?" Episodes With The Flaming Lips

Posted by Amoebite, February 11, 2014 05:42pm | Post a Comment

Our What's In My Bag? crew had the pleasure of shooting an episode each with Michael Ivins and Kliph Scurlock of psychedelic alternative rock band The Flaming Lips. Definitely a must see for Lips' fans. 

Michael Lee Ivins (pictured in the blue shirt) is the bassist and founding member of The Flaming Lips. The band originally formed in Norman, Oklahoma with Wayne Coyne playing guitar, his brother Mark Coyne on vocals, and Ivins handling bass duties. After several years of crafting their sound, The Flaming Lips broke into the mainstream with their 6th studio album, Transmissions From The Sattelite Heart (1993), spawning the hit single "She Don't Use Jelly."  

In March 1999, The Flaming Lips were gearing up to tour in support of their album, The Soft Bulletin. The band hired Kliph Scurlock (pictured left in purple shirt) to do some heavy lifting as a roadie. Scurlock remaind on tour with the band until 2002 when the Lips were doubling as an opener and backing band for Beck. In an effort to enable multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd to play lead guitar, Scurlock was asked to play drums during the band's run with Beck. Subsequently, Scurlock went from touring drummer to full-time member and remains with the Lips until this day.      

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10 Black Friday Releases to Look For

Posted by Billy Gil, October 22, 2013 01:02pm | Post a Comment

The folks at Record Store Day have just released their list of titles that will be either exclusive for Black Friday (Nov. 29, the day after Thanksgiving) or will be an early release on that day. Below I picked some highlights to look for; check out the whole list of Black Friday releases that will be available at Amoeba here (.pdf). Better line up early for these!

 

Bob Dylan Side Tracks (Black Friday Exclusive)

bob dylan side tracks lp

A compilation of Bob Dylan tracks that have never been released formally on an album, now released on a triple-LP set. Enough said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Track list:

LP 1:
Baby, I'm in the Mood for You
Mixed-Up Confusion (Single Version)
Tomorrow Is a Long Time
Lay Down Your Weary Tune
Percy's Song
I'll Keep It with Mine
Can You Please Crawl out Your Window? (Single Version)
Positively 4th Street
Jet Pilot
I Wanna Be Your Lover
I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met) (Live)

LP 2:
Visions of Johanna (Live)
Quinn the Eskimo (Mighty Quinn)
Watching the River Flow
When I Paint My Masterpiece
Down in the Flood (Live)
I Shall Be Released
You Ain't Goin' Nowhere
George Jackson (Acoustic Version)
Forever Young
You're a Big Girl Now
Up to Me

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Albums Out April 16: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Flaming Lips, Jessie Ware, Andrew Wyatt, Thee Oh Sees and More

Posted by Billy Gil, April 15, 2013 10:24pm | Post a Comment

Album Picks:

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito

yeah yeah yeahs mosquitoCD $11.98

Deluxe CD $19.98

LP $19.98

Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ sultry fourth record starts with a bang, a big soul-rocker complete with gospel choir called “Sacrilige.” From there it’s a smorgasbord as colorful as their mosquito-attacking-a-baby album cover, including moody, atmospheric sound pieces (“Subway”), Banshees-esque post-punk rockers (the title track), dubby soundscapes (“Under the Earth”), “X-Files”-inspired new age ballads (“These Paths”) and rockers (“Area 52”). And that’s all before you get to a dark collaboration with Dr. Octagon and James Murphy (“Buried Alive”), as well as breathtaking new entries into Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ pantheon of after prom-style bittersweet ballads in the form of the picturesque “Always,” the slow-burning, oddly uplifting “Despair” and touching “Wedding Song.” Mosquito is a very different beast from the previous YYY’s albums and takes some getting used to, for sure, but repeat listens offer new rewards (as with every album the band has produced since its debut). Its eeriness and campiness at times call to mind a Cramps record, while its hollowed-out space represents something else entirely, something new and alluring. You might miss some of their previous raucousness (or continuity), but hearing them fling new ideas to the wall to see what sticks is intriguing enough. Yeah Yeah Yeahs are one of the few bands who know how to make its constant tinkering with its sound both interesting and entertaining. Hearing them restlessly forge new ground on Mosquito screws with your head in the best way possible. It inspires you to shake old notions of what stadium-size rock bands can and should do, and that lone is something to celebrate. Pick up "Mosquito" at any Amoeba store 4/16 and get a limited edition autographed lithograph and a special 7” (while supplies last).

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