Amoeblog

So Many Wizards' Nima Kazerouni Talks Being in Four Bands Before Performance Jan. 29 at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, January 28, 2015 03:17pm | Post a Comment

so many wizards amoebaSo Many Wizards frontman Nima Kazerouni is easily one of the hardest working guys in the L.A. music scene. Other than SMW, his long-running indie-pop project, he has another full-time band, Crown Plaza, and two more new ones. I asked Kazerouni about how he keeps it all straight before So Many Wizards’ show at Amoeba Hollywood Jan. 29 at 6 p.m. They’re handing out a split 7” at the show with Tennis System, as part of Converse Rubber Tracks’ free recording sessions for up-and-coming artists. They’ll also be signing their previous 7”, Night Chills, at the show.

So I heard you started a new band, Nectarine, and now you have GNTLMN, too, bringing the total to four (I think). Is that just to try out different directions, play with different people or something else?

Yeah, totally. Nectarine is a super fun new band that started with homegirl Allie Bumsted. We would just jam together and write songs on the fly in her Long Beach garage while drinking beers and coffee. It turned into a thing pretty naturally. GNTLMN, which is now officially called Others, is a two-piece electronic dream-pop project created with S.F. transplant and homegirl Natalia Rogovin. The two are totally different sounds, and I play different roles in each band. It’s a lot to juggle four bands, yes, but whatever, I love them all.

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Show Recap: Joel Jerome at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, November 19, 2014 02:53pm | Post a Comment

joel jeromeJoel Jerome brought his seven-man band to Amoeba Hollywood Nov. 18 for a set of songs from his excellent new solo record, Psychedelic Thrifstore Folk, as well as his catalog of songs from his days fronting dios.

They started with the “Everybody Wants Somebody,” jangling forth on a Kinksy arrangement until it slowed down for an extended sunlit singalong chorus. The band layered jangling acoustics, steel guitar, horse-clopping percussion, chimes, saxophone into a perfectly orchestrated mass, showing Jerome’s ability to dress these songs in whatever he sees fit and still have them come through as well-written songs to the core. Jerome introduced singer/songwriter Miguel Mendez for the next song, the Mendez-written “You Got Me All Wrong,” off the first dios album, which was also included on one of The O.C. mixes back in the day. The band faithfully tore through “You Got Me All Wrong” and went into another Mendez song, Thrifstore’s dreamy “I’m Dumb After All,” with Mendez taking lead and Jerome singing backup and snaking country licks around lines like “I wanna die with the radio blasting.”

Thriftstore’s cool, Doors-tinged opener “Stay in Bed” came next, followed by “Tell Me Thing,” off the third dios album, We Are Dios. The song was the set’s show-stopper, its sexy opening riff grabbing you and setting the stage for Jerome’s spine-tingling lead vocal and killer psych-rock solo. They finished the set with a new song he said would be on an upcoming album he hoped would be out next year, a glam-blues stomper that left us excited for whatever the prolific Jerome is up to next.

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Joel Jerome Chats With the Amoeblog Before His Performance Nov. 18 at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, November 14, 2014 03:45pm | Post a Comment

joel jeromeJoel Jerome has been one of the best songwriters in L.A. for years under a number of guises—with his bands, dios, dios (malos) and Babies on Acid. Recently, he’s been going under his own name, under which he’s released the Beck covers album When Beck Was Cool and now a collection of his own songs called Psychedelic Thriftstore Folk. It’s perhaps the most direct and honed release he’s put out yet, consisting of songs new and old that have been whittled down to pop perfection in his home studio in Echo Park. I caught up with him a bit before his Amoeba Hollywood performance Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. Instead of teasing you with some “quirky” factoid about our interview, why don’t you just take two minutes and read it??

What made you change the name under which you record, from dios/dios malos to Babies on Acid and finally Joel Jerome?

Joel: I finally decided to have everything I do under one umbrella, one name, since I write, arrange, produce and record all my music. I decided to just have it under my name so I could have the freedom of having different players for different shows. I’m the one busting my ass for this, so I may as well take full responsibility and have it all go under my name.

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Roses Play Amoeba Night at the Bootleg HiFi Nov. 23

Posted by Billy Gil, November 3, 2014 10:08am | Post a Comment

roses bandL.A. new romantics Roses hit the Bootleg HiFi for their November Sunday residency, presented by The Fold. The band plays every Sunday in November, with a new slate of supporting bands each night. Nov. 23 is Amoeba Music Night, featuring Hair Perfect, Crystales and Basement Babies. We’ll be on hand with coupons, buttons and more.

Roses formed last year, following the dissolution of guitarist Juan Velasquez’s old band, Abe Vigoda. Since then, the band has played live extensively, with bands such as A Sunny Day in Glasgow and Diiv, as well as at Amoeba's Red Bull Sound Select show back in August with Tanlines, and they released the Dreamlover EP this year on Group Tightener. Velasquez, a veteran of Amoeba, and singer/keyboardist Marc Steinberg sat down to talk with us a bit about his new band and what they have going on into the new year.

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Noise Pop Band Spaceships Chat Before Their Melody Lounge Performance Oct. 9

Posted by Billy Gil, October 3, 2014 04:30pm | Post a Comment

spaceships bandSpaceships have come up from being outsiders to L.A. who just started a band together in 2010 to being written up in LA Weekly as darlings of the DIY community. The band, consisting of Kevin LaRose on drums and Jessie Waite on guitar and vocals, recorded their first LP, a blast of brash, melodic noise pop called Cool Breeze Over the Mountains, in the apartment they shared (look for the record in-store!).

Now they've got a month-long residency at Melody Lounge in Chinatown every Thursday night. Oct. 9 will be Amoeba Night, featuring Amoeba employees performing and DJing all night, with Spaceships (LaRose works at Amoeba Hollywood), myself playing in Crystales and DJing with Subtle Cues, and with Amoeba's Sean Evans DJing as well. I took a minute to speak with LaRose about how they got to where they are and what they're up to now.

You self-released your first LP last year. I know you guys recorded it in your apartment, can you talk a bit about how you managed that? Did your neighbors ever complain?

We recorded parts of it in our apartment, but stuff like the drums were recorded in various practice spaces around Los Angeles. Thankfully, no one ever complained.

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