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Amoeba Hollywood's Top 50 Sellers of 2015

Posted by Amoebite, January 6, 2016 02:33pm | Post a Comment

amoeba hollywood best sellers of 2015

Amoeba Hollywood shoppers had diverse tastes in 2015, snapping up popular albums by Adele, Lana Del Rey and Taylor Swift as well as critical favorites by Sufjan Stevens, Kamasi Washington and Beach House in equal measure, plus those essential records that never go out of style. Check out the year's top sellers below.

1.  Tame ImpalaCurrents

tame impala currents lpTame Impala's third album was a critical and commercial triumph. It's both as a fascinating headphones album for production junkies and as a set of immaculate psych-pop songs that feels endlessly giving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Adele25

adele 25 lpAdele's third album was a across-the-board hit with people of all ages. With pipes like Aretha and insightful lyrics, she’s our premiere pop chronicler of relationships and breakups.

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The 50 Best Albums of 2015

Posted by Billy Gil, December 18, 2015 07:40pm | Post a Comment

50 best albums of 2015

1. Tame Impala - Currents

tame impala currents lpTame Impala’s Kevin Parker shifts gears a bit for his third album, drawing as much from ’80s soul and disco as he has from prog-rock and psychedelia. Though such a change could threaten to derail a good thing, Parker is the consummate perfectionist, and Currents’ various strands are braided together without a hair out of place. Opener “Let It Happen” builds from a proggish uphill chug into a psychedelic freakout and finally hits its stride with a silky disco beat. “Eventually” relies on rock dynamics but uses fat synthesizers to achieve its booming changes. And a tune like crystalline psych-funk jam “The Less I Know the Better” seems to marry all of Parker’s influences into a perfect amalgam, calling to mind everything from Michael Jackson to My Bloody Valentine. Through it all, Parker is the same chill knob-twiddler he’s always been, but he’s come out of his shell a bit more—it takes confidence to command a song like “’Cause I’m a Man,” which gloriously oozes ’70s cheese, akin to Gary Wright’s “Dream Weaver” or 10CC’s “I’m Not in Love.” From the get-go, Parker himself seems to be reflecting on the change—“Something’s trying to get out/And it’s never been closer,” he sings on “Let It Happen.” It’s confirmed by the time we get to “Yes I’m Changing,” ostensibly a breakup ballad but it seems more pointedly about an introvert accepting accidental stardom (“Curse indulgence and despise the fame/There’s a world out there and it's calling my name”). This lyrical theme, the sense that Parker is coming into his own as not only a songwriter and performer but human being, gives Currents a unity that even the superb Lonerism didn’t have. In every way, Currents is a complete triumph, both as a fascinating headphones album for production junkies and as a set of immaculate psych-pop songs that feels endlessly giving.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Kamasi Washington

Posted by Amoebite, December 14, 2015 04:28pm | Post a Comment

Kamasi Washington at Amoeba Hollywood

Kamasi Washington is a Los Angeles-born jazz saxophonist, bandleader, and composer. He studied Ethnomusicology at UCLA, where he played music with faculty members such as Billy Higgins, Kenny Burrell, and Gerald Wilson. Washington’s skill as a tenor soloist in the Miles Davis/Ornette Coleman tradition has landed him on albums like Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly and he’s played alongside artists such as Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Lauryn Hill, Snoop Dogg, Chaka Khan, and Raphael Saadiq.

Kamasi Washington The EpicIn 2015, Washington released his debut full-length, a 3-disc album aptly entitled The Epic, on Flying Lotus's label Brainfeeder. What is even more surprising is how accessible and listenable it is across its three discs without once aiming for a cheap crossover or diminishing Washington’s talents or sound. The Epic has been named one of the best of 2015 by The New York Times and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Album.

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Weekly Roundup: KING, Rangda, Kendrick Lamar, La Sera, Golden Daze

Posted by Billy Gil, December 4, 2015 02:52pm | Post a Comment

Last weekly roundup of the year! Check back in with us next year for more coverage of local music from L.A. and the Bay Area.

KING – “Hey (Extended Mix)”

king bandThis gorgeous cosmic R&B love ballad comes from L.A.’s KING. The track gently unfurls its breathy vocals and layered synths so gracefully, you almost miss the nuance that makes the song something special. It’s reminiscent of Stevie Wonder’s best, turning a simple sentiment like “You were made for me, and I, you,” from trite to transcendent. The song first appeared on their 2011 EP The Story, which Pitchfork points out got them the attention of none other than Prince. This expanded version will be on their debut LP, We Are KING, which is due in February.

 

Rangda – “To Melt the Moon”

rangdaBen Chasny of Six Organs of Admittance, Sir Richard Bishop of Sun City Girls and Six Organs contributor Chris Corsano come together to craft a serpentine, snarling guitar track called “To Melt the Moon.” Chasny’s psych notes and Bishop’s African-influenced playing dance with Corsano’s steady 5/4 beat like a North African surf-rock track. Rangda’s The Heretic’s Bargain is due Feb. 19 on Drag City. Stream below via Pitchfork.

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The 10 Best Albums of 2015 So Far

Posted by Billy Gil, July 1, 2015 06:38pm | Post a Comment

best albums of 2015

Now that the year is officially half over, we’re checking back over the albums that have been released thus far in 2015. Maybe all of this will change in six months, but for now, here are the albums I’ve been most excited about this year. We’d love to hear some more under-the-radar albums that came out this year that haven’t been as covered by the blogosphere, so please leave a comment and suggest some more picks.  

1. Father John MistyI Love You, Honeybear

father john misty i love you honeybearThe former Fleet Foxes drummer has put out the most emotionally manipulative album of 2015, and that’s a good thing. Songs like “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)” are all sweeping melodrama on the surface, horns and strings and Southwest jangle decorating Joshua Tillman’s sonorous voice, but his words destroy the superficial veneer the handsome troubadour puts out on first blush, sneaking snarky lines into a love song to his new wife (“I wanna take you in the kitchen/Lift up your wedding dress someone was probably murdered in”). Songs like “The Night Josh Tillman Came to Our Apt.” and “Nothing Good Ever Happens at the Goddamn Thirsty Crow” dismiss young would-be groupies with borderline arrogance (the oft-quoted “She says, like literally, music is the air she breathes/And the malaprops make me want to fucking scream”), Tillman’s use of detail flip your impression of him from douche to annoyingly charming dude who’s just telling it like it is. And as the album progresses, Tillman’s observations turn more self-effacing, and his pathos makes for some brutally candid moments—“Bored in the U.S.A.’s” white people problems are played for literal laughs, and the self-loathing present beneath the beard transcends its trappings and becomes entirely relatable. It’s also a great love album because it’s romantic but doesn’t sugarcoat shit, starting semi-sarcastically using the pet name “honeybear” and later featuring the line “Maybe love is just an economy based on resource scarcity/What I fail to see is what that’s gotta do with you and me.” There have easily been more sentimental singer/songwriter releases in 2015, but Tillman’s cynicism feels like the most honest thing I’ve heard this year.

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