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Death Grips Done as a Band But Live On Through Great Albums

Posted by Billy Gil, July 3, 2014 10:52am | Post a Comment

death gripsDeath Grips have been one of the most important yet, to some, most frustrating bands to emerge during the 2010s.

The Sacramento band, made up of Stefan Burnett (aka MC Ride), drummer Zach Hill and producer Andy Morin (aka Flatlander), made aggressive industrial noise-fueled hip-hop with often little regard for fan expectation, acquiring a wider audience, their record label, physical media, basically anything and everything that wasn’t a Death Grip. And this made them one of the most exciting bands around from a non-musical perspective because you never really could chart where they were going to go next. One minute, they’re releasing their most widely appealing (and perhaps best) album to date, The Money Store, playing at Coachella and getting signed to Epic in 2012.

The next minute, they release their major label debut early, for free, over the Internet, with a dick pic as the cover and publish emails from Epic telling them to remove the downloads immediately. Apparently Epic wouldn’t release the album until a year later, pissing the band off and prompting the early release of the music. It was a weird thing where the record label didn’t look bad—not wanting to release an album in the same year as the band had already released another hardly seems like major label bullying, given the resources they’d put into promotion—but the band’s utter disregard for “the way things are supposed to be” (not to mention their own monetary stake in their art) seemed punk at a time when the concept had lost most of its meaning. And fans won by getting the music as soon as it was finished (harkening back to a time when bands releasing multiple albums per year wasn’t such a big deal), and those wanting a physical release got it when Universal eventually released the album. 

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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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Show Recap: Lust for Youth and Pharmakon at The Complex

Posted by Billy Gil, June 21, 2013 11:55am | Post a Comment

Holy shit, I love this place. Besides that it’s in Glendale, which is weird and cool, it smells like a gay bar (deodorant free) and it’s basically one room with a bar and that’s it. It’s like a really nice warehouse, and that’s awesome. The Complex was just opened last year by John Giovanazzi, who also does industrial/goth night Das Bunker at Jewel’s Catch One. His new venue has a lot of that same vibe, minimally decorated and with great sound.

body of light
Body of Light

The first band I saw was called Body of Light. They were a two-piece; one guy played moody synth chords and triggered primal drum machine beats while the other sang. I was really struck by the singer’s charisma. Besides being very handsome, he really owned the stage, clutching the microphone intensely and raising his tattooed arms up like he was laying back in a hammock. A couple of their songs were really catchy — one saw the singer delivering a repeating vocal with no less passion each time, over a stately four-chord part; another had a three-note bassy riff driving the song, while the keyboardist piled sound above and the singer held out long intoned notes and kneeled before the audience, raising the mic skyward. This was some real rock star stuff. The singer even came into the crowd and sang into my boyfriend’s face.

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Strangelove Celebrates Dia De Los Muertos, Nov. 2nd in SF

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 15, 2012 03:10pm | Post a Comment

On Friday, November 2nd, Strangelove honors those who have passed by celebrating Dia de los strangelove dia de los muertosMuertos - the Day of the Dead - at The Cat Club (Folsom and 8th, San Francisco).

In the back room, DJs Tomas Diablo (Villainy - R.I.P.) and Bryan Hawk (Asylum - R.I.P.) play the best of Dark Electro, Industrial, New Wave, and Goth. In the front room, enjoy spooky sounds and surprises from New York's Saint James (Limelight - R.I.P.) and local legend Andy T. (Covered Wagon - R.I.P.)

Of course, it wouldn't be a proper Day of the Dead celebration without macabre activities!

SKULL FACE PAINTING! Make-up artists will put a ghoulish grin on your face. It's FREE for everyone, though tips are always appreciated.

ALTAR TO THE DEAD! Bring a picture of a deceased loved one or celebrity to add to our altar. Please respect the altar and do not take anything from the ofrenda - items there are for the spirits.

PINATA! How often do you get to savagely swing a big stick in a nightclub (without getting arrested)? Whoever breaks it open will win a gift certificate from Amoeba Music, a Strangelove t-shirt, AND a pair of tickets to see The Birthday Massacre with Aesthetic Perfection at Slim's on Thursday, November 15th.

RSVP on Facebook HERE!

It's Cheaper Used: Classic and Out-of-Print Goth & Industrial Titles in Stock at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Aaron Detroit, June 9, 2010 05:03pm | Post a Comment
Looking to stock back up on some dark classics? Maybe looking to try something you overlooked long ago? Well, if you’re a fan of classic Industrial or Goth, or just looking to be adventurous, we’ve got some great deals on some hand-picked, used and out-of-print titles for you in our little dark corner of the Goth/Industrial section at Amoeba Music Hollywood*.

Front 242 Tyranny >For You<
Ten years after the group’s genesis, Front 242 released their most commercially successful album with their 1991 major-label debut, Tyranny >For You<. Though not as solid as the band’s 1988 essential Front by Front , Tyranny is a relentless and charged slab full of EBM bangers including “Moldavia,” “Tyranny (for You),” and the club hit “Rhythm of Time, “ which some may recall from a memorable scene in the 1992 camp classic film Single White Female. The album has surprisingly aged very well and sounds pretty damn great nearly 20 years later -- the slow-burn “Sacrifice,” the minimal pulse and melodic sway of “Soul Manager,” or the chaotic blasts of hidden track “Untitled” (there are 3 unlisted ‘hidden’ tracks here –every bit as intense as the rest of the album). Listening to this album now, really makes me wish some youngins would mine these sounds again. Tyranny >For You< is currently out of print on CD but Amoeba Music Hollywood has it in stock used for just $4.99!*

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