Amoeblog

50 Essential Albums Released in 2013

Posted by Aaron Detroit, November 30, 2013 02:45pm | Post a Comment

Aaron Detroit, Buyer at Amoeba Hollywood. I've worked in Hollywood for nine years, but started my time with Amoeba - way back in 1998 -  at the San Francisco store. Here is my extensive list of new essential listening, released in 2013. There is a wide range of genres and artists represented here because musical passion shouldn't be static!

1. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual
The Knife Shaking the Habitual    


After a seven-year hiatus (not including 2010’s collaborative opera with Matt Sims and Planningtorock,) the Swedish sister/brother duo crafted something utterly singular with this sprawling, conceptual, yet immensely thrilling triple-LP. Habitual lyrically challenges gender constructs and unchecked privilege against visceral (and sometimes monstrous) techno that also refuses any box you throw over it. 

 

These New Puritans Field of Reeds



2. These New Puritans - Field of Reeds
   
 No guitars, no dubstep breaks, no angular post-punk posturing. Jack Barnett & Co. look to 20th century composers and Fado for inspiration on their third LP. Woodwinds, brass, field recordings, a magnetic resonator piano and additional vocals from Portuguese vocalist Elisa Rodrigues move TNP into a whole other category of artist, far away from the faceless NME hordes they once mingled with. 
 
3. David Bowie - The Next Day
 
 David Bowie The Next DayQuite honestly, it’s his best since his last great LP --33 years ago--Scary Monsters. This isn’t anything but Bowie being himself, but the emotional weight of his lyrics give the new tracks a vitality missing from much of his work in the previous decade. It’s exhilarating throughout, with most of his famous tropes (Space!!) sounding somehow fresh. New classics like the title track, “Dirty Boys,” the Scott Walker-nodding “Heat,” plus the stellar Bowie-doing-Morrissey-doing-his-best-Bowie moment on “You Feel So Lonely You Could Die.” 
 

Holden The Inheritors

My Picks for the 50 Best Records That Came Out in 2013

Posted by Billy Gil, November 29, 2013 04:26pm | Post a Comment

Doesn’t end-of-year-list time always sneak up on us? It’s the time to reflect and realize that a lot of really great music did come out throughout the year. Here is my list of 50 best records that came out in 2013. I limited it to albums that were physically released. But it’s only the end of November, so feel free to leave a comment and tell me why I’m dumb for leaving out such-and-such record and I’ll give it a listen!

jagwar ma howlin cd amoeba50. Jagwar Ma Howlin’

Just ’cause these guys ripped off the Madchester sound isn’t any reason to write them off. Listen to Howlin’ and try to get these songs out of your head.

49. Julianna Barwick Nepenthe

Non-verbal cries echo out into infinity and give life to your unconscious while listening to Nepenthe. She’s like our generation’s Enya, only a million times cooler (actually Enya is kind of rad, nm).

48. Sky Ferreira Night Time, My Time

What if Kelly Clarkson really dug My Bloody Valentine and dated the dude form Diiv? What if Taylor Swift shot up heroin, posed nude for some crazy German director and actually ended up making interesting music? Night Time, My Time seeks to answer these questions you never knew you had. Even though Night Time, My Time couldn’t possibly live up to all the blog hype/hate/press Sky Ferreira got this year, it’s still a great, if fragmented pop record.

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Album Picks: Janelle Monae, The Weeknd, Jacuzzi Boys, Joanna Gruesome

Posted by Billy Gil, September 10, 2013 09:01am | Post a Comment

Janelle Monae - The Electric Lady

janelle monaeCD $12.98

Janelle Monae's The Archandroid was a landmark R&B album, released in 2010 when Monae was only 24 years old and poising her to accept the baton from her predecessors. With The Electric Lady, she accepts entry into that pantheon of great soul artists, and even collaborates with several of them. Her duet with Prince, "Givin Em What They Love," is a raunchy bit of slow rolling rock 'n' roll that does the Purple One proud, with Monae giving a snarling, Karen O-like performance. She enlists Erykah Badu to collaborate on "Q.U.E.E.N.," for a jam that's both glitzy and soulful, unafraid of seeming both current and strange ("Is it peculiar that she twerk in the mirror? And am I weird to dance alone late at night?" Monae asks). But her duets fellow new guard members are equally thrilling, on the sassy title track with Solange, jazzy "Dorothy Dandridge Eyes" with Esperanza Spalding and showstopper "Primetime" with Miguel. The music is remarkable and unpredictable throughout, from the loungey outro to "We Were Rock N Roll" to the Flaming Lips synths and Brazilian jazz chords of "Ghetto Woman." And impressively, with all these big names, Monae remains the star, singing and rapping like the second coming of Lauryn Hill. On her own, her songs are no less striking, singing an uplifting hymn with "Victorious" and closing things out beautifully on the reggae-tinged "What An Experience." What an experience The Electric Lady is, indeed!

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2010 Music Picks: 30 Things to Ease the Holiday Blow

Posted by Smiles Davis, December 20, 2010 12:46pm | Post a Comment

For all you savvy observers, the description “best” was omitted from this year-end post. Why, you ask? Well, for several reasons: a) who the hell am I to say so and so's album was better than so and so; and b) I'm not a jukebox; I simply don't listen to enough albums a year to know whom to accurately give that title to. Furthermore, the ever-expanding field of opinions and critics makes me gag, so I'll pass. Since the bulk of my day is spent discovering, sorting, and devouring music in general, I do have a few things to share at this year's end. Here is a tight list of albums/ mixtapes/ LP’s/ videos and such I couldn’t stop playing this year. In no particular order, here are my favorite musical things of 2010:
 
1) Matthew Dear – Black City (Ghostly)
2) Aloe BlaccGood Things (Stones Throw)
3) Quantic – Dog With a Rope (Tru Thoughts)

4) Toro Y Moi - Causers of This (Carpark Records)
5) Gil Scott-Heron – I’m New Here (XL Recordings)
6) Erykah Badu - New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh)  (Universal Motown)
7) Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy  (Roc-A-Fella Records)
8) First Aid Kit - The Big Black & The Blue (Wichita   Recordings/Jagadamba Records)
9) Tame Impala - Innerspeaker - (Modular Recordings)
10) Yeasayer - Odd Blood (Secretly Canadian & Mute Records)
11) Dale Ernhardt Jr - Horse Power EP (Quite Scientific Records)
12) Ninja Tune XX Box  - Ninja Tune Comp

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Outside Lands Fest Artists at Amoeba

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 11, 2010 09:04am | Post a Comment
Many of the fine artists performing at the Outside Lands Festival here in San Francisco Aug 14-15 have stopped by Amoeba for in-stores, where their performances have been captured via video and photos, and to participate in our What's In My Bag? series over the years. To whet your appetite for the festival, check them out right here!

Wolfmother
Australia's Wolfmother performed at Amoeba Hollywood on Valentine's Day 2006.


Albert Hammond Jr
(The Strokes)
Albert Hammond Jr performed at Amoeba Hollywood on March 7, 2007.


Devil Makes Three
The Devil Makes Three combine ragtime, country, folk & rockabilly (without a drummer!). They performed at Amoeba Hollywood on October 13, 2009. Get an exclusive free download of "For Good Again" by Devil Makes Three recorded live at Amoeba!

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