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Albums Out April 9: The Knife, Kurt Vile and More

Posted by Billy Gil, April 9, 2013 10:54am | Post a Comment

Album Picks:

The Knife - Shaking The Habitual

The Knife Shaking the HabitualCD $12.98

Deluxe CD $19.98

LP $27.98

As always, The Knife mean to disturb and provoke you, and Shaking the Habitual is their most adventurous statement to date. They begin the two-disc set with one of the more pop-oriented pieces — of course, The Knife’s defintion of pop involves alien distortion on Karin Dreijer Andersson’s vocals, which are growly and swoop in and out of conventional melodicism to begin with. On “A Tooth for an Eye,” it’s fairly typical, if highly accomplished, fare for The Knife, as Andersson’s warped vocals match her and Olaf Dreijer’s tribal beatwork and synths that bellow and squelch like steam machinery. This in no way prepares you for the set’s second song, the nine-minute “Full of Fire,” whose machine-gun beats are the accessible part of a demonic pop song in which synths bleep atonally like tea kettles and swirl like locusts, while Andersson’s vocals sound like they’ve been run over by tires full of syringes. Even with its mammoth run-time and demanding sound, it never falters in fascinating and keeping a fanged vice grip on the listener. You feel your hair stand on end and you start to sweat with each new turn. “A Cherry on Top” starts with five minutes of wraithlike synths before Andersson comes in with a digitally deepened voice in a sort of gender, culture, genre-bending near 10 minutes that’s both bewildering and bold. Of course The Knife’s freaky sounds can be grating or seemingly unusual for the sake of it sometimes — I opened a hotel website with a man singing in Hawaiian during the flute-laden “Without You My Life Would Be Boring” and didn’t notice for a full minute — and pieces like the nearly silent, nearly 20-minute “Old Dreams Waiting to Be Realized” are more interesting in concept and as a breather than they are in actual sound. But Shaking the Habitual harkens back to a time when albums were meant to be an experience, something puzzled over, abandoned and returned to and studied, not streamed while searching for hotels. It’s anti-pop, but claims that it is “unlistenable” are unfounded. Even at nearly 10 minutes and with truly messed up sounds housed within in, “Raging Lung” is a pop song, with movements and parts that hit you and break through the din — when Andersson keeps coming in with her “that’s when it hurts” line ranks among the best pop moments on the album. “Networking” drops vocals almost entirely in favor of a Kraftwerkian cold synth rave-up, and it ends up one of the album’s catchiest songs in the process. “Stay Out Here” also features guest vocals from Light Asylum’s Shannon Funchess and artist Emily Roysdon that make the song a kind of horror house anthem as the singers’ vocals bounce off one another and come together in eerie harmony in a padded cell of wavelike synths and skittering beats. The Knife make many demands on you — of your time, of your patience and of your willingness to let go of preconceived notions of pop — on Shaking the Habitual. Trust them — you’ll emerge from the experience feeling as though you’ve gained a new understanding of what pop music can be. Few artists alive today can claim the same effect.

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James Blake Listening Party at Amoeba Hollywood Wed, April 3

Posted by Amoebite, April 2, 2013 03:30pm | Post a Comment

James Blake Listening PartyAmoeba Hollywood is having a listening party for the new James Blake album, Overgrown, on Wednesday, April 3 at 6pm! Hear the album in its entirety nearly a week before it comes out, plus we'll have some tasty organic cookies, free buttons, posters and you can enter to win a vinyl test pressing of Overgrown.

The second album from the 24-year old British singer, songwriter and producer, Overgrown, is due out Tuesday, April 9 via Republic. Musically broad and emotionally deep, Blake's growth on Overgrown is similar to the evolution his debut self-titled album evinced from the mercurial Dubstep of his early EPs. It also reflects how much Blake's life has changed in the past two years. His debut sold over 400,000 copies - quite a feat for a record so uncompromisingly introspective and experimental. It also picked up Mercury, BRIT and Ivor Novello nominations, sent him around the world on tour, and brought him into contact with a wide array of fans and collaborators that includes Jay-Z, Kanye West, Bon Iver, Bjork, Drake, Brian Eno, and The RZA.

Pre-order Overgrown on CD or vinyl from Amoeba.com and, as always, you won't pay shipping to US addresses!

James Blake Overgrown


James Blake - Retrograde
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50 Favorite Albums of 2011

Posted by Aaron Detroit, December 18, 2011 12:00am | Post a Comment

Aaron Detroit, Buyer at Amoeba Hollywood. As you may know, I've worked in Hollywood for 8 years, but started my time with Amoeba - way back in 1998 -  at the San Francisco store. This is my extensive list of 2011 releases that I fell in love with or had hot and heavy affairs with this year.

50 Favorite Albums of 2011



  1. Wild Beasts Smother

In 2008, Brit quartet Wild Beasts released their shaky-legged -but- stunning debut, Limbo Panto. In the four years since, the band has released two thoroughly dazzling masterpiece full-lengths of deceptively delicate indie rock, lyrically bent towards looking in the dark recesses of the heart and libido, largely sung by co-vocalist Hayden Thorpe in his trademark falsetto. Smother finds the band adding a new restraint to their arrangements that allows the tension in the lyrics to hit with hair-on-end chills. It is a singular LP by a singular band that I expect will eventually reach a Radiohead-level stratosphere. 

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out 3/22...the strokes...james blake...duran duran...all $10.98 at amoeba.com with free shipping!!!

Posted by Brad Schelden, March 19, 2011 10:23am | Post a Comment
DURAN DURAN
THE STROKES
JAMES BLAKE

THESE NEW RELEASES ALL OUT NEXT TUESDAY 3/22!!!
$10.98!


W/ FREE SHIPPING
ON AMOEBA.COM


(THIS IS A SPECIAL ONLINE ONLY PRICE
W/ FREE SHIPPING FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH!)


BUY THEM NOW!
...






ALL YOU NEED IS NOW
by DURAN DURAN

$10.98 CD








JAMES BLAKE
by JAMES BLAKE

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Just Announced James Blake Show in SF

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 9, 2011 12:00pm | Post a Comment

Get this: there's gonna be a James Blake show at Great American Music Hall in SF on Sunday, May 22! Tickets go onsale this Saturday, March 12 at 10 am, right here. They're gonna be gone in a snap, so if you want in, you're gonna have to be on top of it!

james blake

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