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Amoeba Bloggers' 50 Favorite Albums of 2013

Posted by Billy Gil, December 31, 2013 02:20pm | Post a Comment

We've been compiling our Best of 2013 lists for a while now. Here's the combined efforts of Amoebloggers who submitted their favorite albums of 2013, compiled in a quasi-scientific fashion.

1. My Bloody Valentine - mbv

my bloody valentine mbv amoebaIt should come as no surprise that the favorite record of the year from a bunch of record store geeks was My Bloody Valentine's long-awaited return with mbv.

"A year heavy with vets, but no one had anybody more excited than My Bloody Valentine (this guy included.) The logical follow-up to Loveless – 22 years later – and it’s a total stunner. mbv is MBV doing what they do best, and quite certainly, it was worth all those delays and the epic wait. It has familiarity that’s instant, but still pushes guitar rock into new terrains like no one else can." —Aaron Detroit

 

 

2. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual

the knife shaking the habitual amoebaThe Knife's divisive fourth studio album was a favorite amongst those who were up for the challenge from the Swedish experimental duo.

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Top 40 California Albums Released in 2013

Posted by Billy Gil, December 10, 2013 03:31pm | Post a Comment

Through my Weekly Roundup series every Thursday (returning in 2014), I listen to a lot of stuff from California-based artists. Here’s a list of 40 great albums that were made by artists based in this great state. There were lots more, so just consider this my own personal list, and let me know if there’s anything I missed!

 

40. FRONDSFRONDS

fronds fronds lp amoebaEpically beautiful seafaring pop from the dude formerly of The Mallard.

 

 

 

 

 

39. Kisses Kids in LA

kisses kids in la amoebaThe cute electro-pop duo get dancier with freestyle sounds on their second album.

 

 

 

 

 

38. Tyler, the CreatorWolf

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From the Vault: Julia Holter

Posted by Billy Gil, August 29, 2013 05:18pm | Post a Comment

julia holter live at amoebaI interviewed performer Julia Holter a while back, last year when she played at Amoeba Hollywood upon the release of her album, Ekstasis. Now the CalArts-bred experimental pop artist is back with a new album, Loud City Song (available on CD or LP), and it’s one of the year’s best, combining cerebral electro-pop and neo-classical orchestration, with a piano-based, singer-songwriter heart. Read our conversation below about Joni Mitchell, TLC and the vastness of L.A. Make sure to check out Loud City Song and see photos from her performance here.

 

Me: Were you always able to sing growing up, and who were some of your singing idols?

Holter: I didn’t sing much until I was—well I sang in secret—and when I was like 15, I started listening to Joni Mitchell a lot, like her later stuff that’s really cool, not just the early, folk stuff, but the weirder stuff.

Me: Like her jazz records?

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Album Picks: Julia Holter, Earl Sweatshirt, Zola Jesus, No Age, Ty Segall, Crocodiles

Posted by Billy Gil, August 20, 2013 09:15am | Post a Comment

Julia Holter - Loud City Song

julia holter loud city song lp amoebaReading about the construction of a Julia Holter album is a bit like reading an art student's honors thesis — one album was built around a Greek tragedy; this one's loosely built around the musical Gigi. Listening, however, is another matter, and Loud City Song might be Holter's most transcendent statement yet. Her voice can come off as icy and ethereal, but on "World," it's firmly grounded and comes through with stunning clarity as she sings of urban melancholia — "what are you wearing? ... I live on the 5th floor of the apartment building ... what am I looking for in you? How can I escape you?" It feels like listening to snippets of phone conversations and thoughts from miles of anonymous citydwellers, while lush horns and harpsichord craft blankets of sound around her. "Horns Surrounding Me" begins with what sounds like someone being chased while she whispers paranoia before launching into a cold, pulsating orchestral pop number. Each of Loud City Song's pieces feels purposeful; you could write at length about each one, like how "He's Running Through My Eyes'" soft movements curl in unexpected ways, or how "In the Green Wild" counters its seemingly carefree, scat-like delivery and standup bass with dread-inducing strings and dark, descending backup vocals. Holter creates her own galaxy on Loud City Song, with each of its songs a strange, spinning planet of sound.

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Weekly Roundup: No Age, Best Coast, The Mallard, Lumerians, Sonny and the Sunsets, Roses, Julia Holter

Posted by Billy Gil, May 30, 2013 10:41am | Post a Comment

No Age Announce New Album

no ageBeloved L.A. noise pop duo No Age are releasing a new album Aug. 20 called An Object (Sub Pop), their first since 2010’s Everything in Between. The new album was recorded by the band at Gaucho’s Electronics in L.A. with collaborator Facundo Bermudez. No song has been released from the album yet; we’ll have it up here as soon as they do!

The tracklist is as follows:

1. No Ground

2. I won’t Be Your Generator

3. C’mon Stimmung

4. Defector/ed

5. An Impression

6. Lock Box

7. Running From A-Go-Go

8. My Hands, Birch and Steel

9. Circling With Dizzy

10. A Ceiling Dreams of a Floor

11. Commerce, Comment, Commence

 

Best Coast Announces Tour

best coastBest Coast have announced a new tour, and true to form, they'll be playing with excellent bands such as Bleached, Lovely Bad Things and Guards. They'll hit the Fillmore Aug. 15, Big Sur's Henry Miller Library Aug. 16 and L.A.'s The El Rey Aug. 17, all with Bleached (the rest of Best Coast's tour dates can be found on their site.). They'll be debuting songs from their upcoming EP, which has no title or release date announced as of yet, but we'll keep you posted. If you were one of the lucky ones to pick up their recent "Fear of My Identity" b/w "Who Have I Become" Record Store Day 7", perhaps you'll hear those excellent songs too, in addition to those off last year's Jon Brion-produced The Only Place. Read my recent interview with Bleached here, last year's interview with Best Coast here, and check out Best Coast's entry into the Webby-winning "What's In My Bag?" below.

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