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Gary Numan's 1979 "Cars" Is A Synth Pop Classic

Posted by Billyjam, June 2, 2014 06:16am | Post a Comment
     
     Gary Numan "Cars" (1979)


"Here in my car, I feel safest of all. I can lock all my doors. It's the only way to live, in cars" sang Gary Numan in his dark seductive, synth-pop hit single "Cars" off his 1979 solo album The Pleasure Principle which was released just months after  his (and band Tubeway Army's) album Replicas which spawned the artist's other  hit of that same year "Are Friends Electric." See video above for "Cars" which was a  big hit for Numan in both his native United Kingdom upon its release and the following year in the States. "Cars" is one of those classic electronic synth pop songs that just never seems to age.  When Numan arrived on the charts at the time many rightfully noted how his vocal style was somewhat derivative of Bowie and some other artists but it didn't really matter because he was so good at what he did and since he added his own robotic style to it. Plus he put his own unique stamp on the track and the album it came from in terms of instrumentation. For the Pleasure Principle there were no guitars at all unlike the first two Tubeway Army albums that preceded it. For the album Numan utilized for the synth sound a Polymoog.  And with "Cars" Numan became synthesizer pop's first big star. Human League's "Don't You Want Me" wouldn't be released until a two full years later. So big a hit was "Cars" for Numan, who has been busy performing and recording recently, that it remains the one song that, beyond his diehard cult following, the average fan will associate him with - despite the fact that he has consistently releasing albums over the years totaling twenty studio albums (and many additional reissues and live releases) including last year's  Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind). Not only was "Cars" a hit for Numan in 1979, 1980 but would go on to become a hit again in both 1987 and 1996.

Bid on Tickets to See The National, Sharon Jones and More at Amoeba's Charity Auction March 1

Posted by Billy Gil, February 26, 2014 03:55pm | Post a Comment

brentley amoebaAmoeba’s monthly charity auction returns March 1 at 4 p.m. with comedian Brently Heilbron.

The comedian has previously worked for Amoeba, serving as emcee during our Paul McCartney and Mighty Boosh shows, among others. Check out a video of Heilbron’s work the last time he hosted one of our auctions in the video below:

This month we’ll have a number of concert tickets available to bid on as well as gift certificates and other goodies. The list of bid items is as follows:

Tickets:

 

franz ferdinand amoeba
Franz Ferdinand

Gary Numan at The Mayan 3/6

The National at The shrine 3/25

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings at The Wiltern 3/25

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Our Top 13 "What's In My Bag?" Episodes Of 2013

Posted by Amoebite, December 27, 2013 10:50am | Post a Comment

Best WIMBs of 2013We are wrapping up our 6th season of What's In My Bag? and we wanted to take a look back at the year that was 2013. It's been a fantastic year for us (we won a Webby Award!!) and this season featured a number of outstanding WIMB firsts.

Lots of love and countless hours of editing goes into making each video happen. They're a bit like our children, so picking our favorites is a daunting task. We tried to make a list of our Top 5 episodes, but that seemed impossible. Then we attempted a Top 10 list, but we couldn't narrow it down. So we settled on our 13 favorite episodes of 2013.

These are the episodes that surprised, excited and engaged us the most. These are the episodes that make us laugh upon repeat viewings. These are the episodes that we send to our friends to make them jealous about the work we do. These are the best “What’s in My Bag?” episodes of 2013. Enjoy!

 

#13. Clairy Browne

The Australian soul singer may not be super well-known in the States yet, but she thoroughly charmed and entertained us. She talks about albums by strong women including PJ Harvey and Queen Latifah, deconstructing Frank Ocean songs, and shares some of her famously misheard lyrics. And then there's her fashion...

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Amoeba Hollywood's Top 10 In-store Performances of 2013

Posted by Billy Gil, December 23, 2013 02:47pm | Post a Comment

This year Amoeba Hollywood hosted some of the best, and most diverse, in-store performances in Amoeba’s history. Let’s look back at 10 that stood out.

 

Yo La Tengo – Jan. 17

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More Yo La Tengo photos here.

One of the greatest indie rock bands of all time helped start the year off in support of their album Fade, playing a set that combined heavy guitar histrionics with more intimate moments. Read my full recap here.

 

FIDLAR – Jan. 24

fidlar amoeba

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Show Recap: Gary Numan at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, October 17, 2013 02:48pm | Post a Comment

gary numan amoebaThere are some shows at Amoeba that get the staff tickled to pieces, and Gary Numan's show at Amoeba Hollywood Oct. 16 was one of them. Employees turned into starstruck kids when Numan showed up, looking vampiric in a black vest, red tie and dyed black hair.

He took the stage with his band to promote his recent release Splinter (Songs From a Broken Mind), which portrays a harder edge to the new-wave star. I was listening to it on the way to the store and found myself driving really aggressively along to the music (well, that and the Waze app was yelling at me from my phone, but that's another story).

He opened with Splinter's "I Am Dust," the industrial rage of which could have started those who showed up expecting the synthy sounds of "Cars." But the sizable crowd that showed up seemed to dig the new tunes, bobbing their heads along when the drums and distorted guitars came in hard and enjoying the new ride one of their musical heroes was taking them on.

By the second song, I felt a little hot from the noise, a sexy, noisy blend of guitar and synth more akin to Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and Smashing Pumpkins than Numan's early records. His gothy howl was occasionally muffled by the overdriven guitars. This wasn't a problem when he broke into a couple of classics—"Are Friends Electric?" and "Cars," which had everyone cheering and uncontrollably singing along.

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