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New Albums: Dead Can Dance, 2 Chainz and More

Posted by Billy Gil, August 14, 2012 06:47pm | Post a Comment
just tell me that you want meVarious ArtistsJust Tell Me That You Want Me                 
 
Starting out with a slice of guitar nirvana as Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis joins Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo and his band for a trip through the early instrumental Fleetwood Mac jam “Albatross,” a highlight of the period before Stevie and Lindsay joined the band and helped launch them to worldwide fame, Just Tell Me That You Want Me hits all the marks as a tribute album. Ubercool artists are called upon to tackle an intimidating catalog full of both iconic songs and gems buried beneath those tall trees. Antony takes a done-to-death cover with “Landslide” and somehow breathes new life into it with his quivering shivery croon. Up-and-coming singer Trixey Whitley puts on an extraordinary performance of Peter Green’s “Before the Beginning,” while Best Coast provides not her cover of “Storms” — that honor goes to Matt Sweeney and Bonnie “Prince” Billy, who put their own Appalachian spin on the Stevie Nicks torch song — but instead inverts the darkness of “Rhiannon” and makes it into a jaunty, piano-led singalong. Artists like Washed Out, MGMT and especially Tame Impala infuse Mac classics with psychedelic eletronics, and the collection also excels by its possibility of introducing bands who more obviously follow in Fleetwood Mac’s footsteps to fans of Fleetwood Mac, especially L.A. darlings Best Coast and Haim. Just Tell Me That You Want Me succeeds by taking a few chances while staying true to the band it covers.
 
dead can danceDead Can DanceAnastasis
 
Dead Can Dance’s music is one of high concept, sewing various world musics across centuries into its black cape of 4AD goth glory. So given the duo of Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard haven’t released an album since 1996’s Spiritchaser, and the demise of their relationship as lovers, it seems only fitting to hear Anastis (Greek for “resurrection”) in terms of the band as a concept. The death march drums and elegiac stringed instrument that open “Kiko” give way to a powerful, mournful vocal from Gerrard. Similarly, “Anabasis” moves on the sound of relentless, clanging percussion and unsettling melodic lines that rise to a climactic cry from Gerrard, but it’s also a perfect example of DCD’s ability to appeal both to world music and underground rock fans — both goth and gothic, if you will — as its synths blend with stringed instruments that predate the use of electricity, and its melodies would sound perfectly fitting played on electric guitars. However, despite the music’s usual grimness, there’s also that sense of revival hinted at by the title, and it comes through on tracks like opener “Children of the Sun,” which builds an expansive chamber sound on which Perry intones “We are the children of the sun/Our journey’s just begun.” Perry has said Anastasis is the beginning of a new era for the band, which will continue with a “regeneration” period; if Anastasis is the sound of death, it is one draped in the most beautiful attire and stately ceremony.
 
2 chainz2 ChainzBased on a T.R.U.Story
 
The onetime Playaz Circle rapper formerly known as Tity Boy knows he’s no youngin. The MC went through a number of difficulties before breaking through with Playaz Circle’s “Duffle Bag,” which featured then rising star Lil Wayne, and now sees his own star rising at the age of 35 following a string of successful guest spots. His solo debut bears these past experiences but doesn’t force itself on its listeners with excessive boasting or self-seriousness; rather, Based on a T.R.U. Story is excellently executed and a lot of fun. “Birthday Song,” featuring Kanye West, gets by on the line “All I want for my birthday is a big booty ho.” All of the guest spots are heavy hitters (save for up-and-comer Cap1) who bring something to the table, from The-Dream’s lushness on “Extremely Blessed” to Nicki Minaj, who comically saves the otherwise repetetive “I Love Dem Strippers,” even if she rehashes in part “Beez in the Trap,” on which 2 Chainz previously guested. 2 Chainz’ flow is dynamic throughout, occasionally breaking into faster passages, as on the awesomely strange “Dope Peddler,” though he usually keeps things mellow, favoring economic phrases and quick jokes, perhaps most effectively on “No Lie,” rapping over creepy theramin and sparkling synths before Drake takes over and lends the song his trademark singing-into-rapping style. By playing it cool, surrounding himself with equal talent and not overreaching, 2 Chainz creates a highly effective debut that establishes him not just as a righthand-man rapper but a skillful creator of a consistent hip-hop album.

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100 Famous Rock Guitar Riffs Offers Concise History of Rock N' Roll

Posted by Billyjam, July 17, 2012 10:00am | Post a Comment
      

Rock music has way too many incredibly memorable guitar riffs to limit a best of list to just one hundred, but the 100 riffs that guitarist Alex Chadwick of The Chicago Music Exchange came up with for the above video performance ain't half bad, and it is a nice informal overview of the history of rock n' roll. Sure it's a subjective selection that includes a lot of mega hits of the genre, and no doubt every rock fan could come up with their own unique list of a hundred best guitar riffs. But I like what Alex has done: from his playing to his choices of riffs, and from how he segues from song to song, to how he plays it on his 1958 Fender Strat all in chronological order. Below is that list of songs and artists in order with the artist names that are blue highlighted linking back to the Amoeba Online Store. where you can find their respective music (CDs, LPs, DVDs) including (in near all cases) the song played by Alex.

SONG/ARTIST PLAYLIST & AMOEBA SHOP LINK OF ALEX'S 100 GUITAR RIFFS (IN ORDER):


1 "Mr. Sandman"  Chet Atkins
2 "Folsom Prison Blues" Johnny Cash
3 "Words of Love"  Buddy Holly
4 "Johnny B Goode"  Chuck Berry
5 "Rumble"  Link Wray

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Milo Greene Set to Play Amoeba With Live Webcast As Debut Record Lands

Posted by Billy Gil, July 15, 2012 04:00pm | Post a Comment
Milo GreeneMilo Greene is British. He’s well-dressed — three-piece suit and the like. He’s incredibly confident and charming, he’s well-spoken, he’s an intellectual, but also a man’s man. He’s exactly six feet tall to the millimeter, and if he were a dad, he’d be the No. 1 dad.
 
Milo Greene the man also isn’t real — they are a band, not a dude. He’s a fictional character band member Robbie Arnett invented when forming the band with Andrew Heringer. When contacting venues, Milo Greene would send the requests, and Arnett and Heringer saw their fortunes rise accordingly, getting better shows.
 
Now a five-piece who’ve taken the moniker Milo Greene as their own, in a bit of Belle & Sebastian-style alluring bewilderment, is set to release its debut, self-titled record July 17. The band plays Amoeba Hollywood the same day, at 7 p.m. with a live webcast.
 
milo greene milo greeneThe L.A.-based band’s debut record, Milo Greene, offers the same sort of intimate harmonies and natural harmonies of a Fleet Foxes or, further back, Fleetwood Mac just as Stevie and Lindsay joined the band. Written in part in a cabin in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and recorded with co-producer Ryan Hadlock (Ra Ra Riot, Blonde Redhead, The Gossip, The Lumineers) at Bear Creek Studio, a converted early 1900s barn in the country outside of Seattle, it’s a beautifully crafted set of songs that makes the most the band’s five-person set-up. They offer lush harmonies on songs like “Don’t You Give Up On Me,” which sounds like a gorgeous gospel intervention. Lone girl Greener Marlana Sheetz in particular stands out on songs like “Perfectly Aligned,” in which Sheetz’s testimonial vocals are wrapped in just the right amount of gauzy reverb while the boys (who include Graham Fink and Curtis Marrero, in addition to Arnett and Heringer) back her up with swaying folk-rock, along with electric swells of sound and strident harmonies when necessary. The whole thing’s, you know, perfectly aligned.
 
I sat down to talk with Fink about what it’s like to be in a folk band in L.A. in 2012, and what records and songs are doing it for him these days (Hint: Lots of ’90s R&B).
 
Me: Truthfully it was a bit hard to find out more about you guys, and along with the whole “Milo Greene” concept, it seems to me sort of an early Belle & Sebastian situation where you want the music to stand for itself and not for any member of the collective to stand out. Is that fair to say?
 
Fink: Absolutely. This is a very collective group, and the music has always stood at the forefront. We liked the idea of just releasing some live videos early, so people could see the five of us in a room, making music. No lead singer, no gloss, music first and foremost. That being said, I'm really trying to get famous so I can be gifted courtside Clippers tickets.

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Local Stuff: Best Coast/Iggy Pop, Poolside, IO Echo

Posted by Billy Gil, July 6, 2012 11:12am | Post a Comment
true bloodBest Coast & Iggy Pop - "Let's Boot and Rally"
 
Insane amount of Best Coast happenings. First there was her not one, but two Fleetwood Mac covers, “Storms” and “Rhiannon,” the latter on an upcoming F-Mac tribute album, Just Tell Me That You Want Me, and now she’s teaming with Iggy Pop on a cool song for “True Blood.” It premieres on this Sunday’s episode of “True Blood,” and you can hear it now via KCRW, whose Gary Calamar co-wrote the song, as music supervisor for the show. Hopefully it makes it onto a “True Blood” soundtrack, I love the song, it sounds like X at their most rockabilly.
 







 
Poolside
Poolside Album preview

 
L.A. duo Poolside continue to drum up buzz for their upcoming full-length album, Pacific Standard Time. Right now it’s streaming from our friends at KCRW ‘till July 16. After that you’ll have to wait a bit to pick up a physical copy of the disc. For now, enjoy the sweet sounds of this proggy, sunny electro duo’s music with a cocktail. Something blue, maybe with a tiny umbrella.
 

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Music History Monday: June 18

Posted by Jeff Harris, June 18, 2012 07:07pm | Post a Comment
To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com

Born on this day: June 18, 1942 - Pop music icon Sir Paul McCartney (born James Paul McCartney in Liverpool, UK). Happy 70th Birthday to one of the greatest musicians of all time and one of my biggest musical heroes. We ♥ you, Sir Paul!



On this day in music history: June 18, 1966 - "Hold On, I'm A Comin'" by Sam & Dave hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for one week, also peaking at #21 on the same date. Written and produced by Isaac Hayes and David Porter, it features Booker T. & The MG's providing instrumental support. At first, the duo are not fond of the song, feeling that the title and lyrics are too "corny and hillbilly." In fact, on the finished record, Sam Moore can be heard laughing out loud when Dave Prater sings the lyric "I'm on my way, your lover, if you get cold yeah, I will be your cover." Released as a single in March of 1966, the song will quickly rise up the charts, becoming their first R&B chart topper and first top 40 pop hit.


On this day in music history: June 18, 1967 - The Jimi Hendrix Experience will make their now legendary American performance debut at The Monterey International Pop Music Festival. The band will be booked to perform on the recommendation of Paul McCartney, having seen Hendrix and the Experience perform at the Saville Theatre in London two and a half weeks earlier (opening their set with The Beatles "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"). The bands' set at Monterey will climax with Hendrix setting fire to his Fender Stratocaster and smashing it on the stage. The performance will launch Hendrix into rock superstardom in the US and worldwide.

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