Amoeblog

Where My Ears Went in 2012

Posted by J. Mark Beaver, January 10, 2013 01:33pm | Post a Comment
sandro perri impossible spaces
SANDRO PERRI Impossible Spaces
(Constellation Records)

Easily the most confounding sound I heard this last year. In all truth, this record was released in late 2011, but I didn't find any indicators pointing towards it until this year. Perri is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, producer from Toronto, Canada who also creates electronica under the name Polmo Polpo. On Impossible Spaces, Perri presents a light, meandering soul in a voice that sometimes reminds me of Michael Franks, sometimes Antony, sometimes Christopher Cross. It's a strange tone to hear in 2012, but it is all couched and wrapped in, levitated and nudged along by a busy production of electronica, (fretless?) bass, warped keyboards and processed saxophone that keeps pulling my ear deep into its sheer inventiveness. Guaranteed to confuse.








MOUNT EERIE Clear Moon
((P.W.Elverum & Sun)  

One of this year's two "sister" releases (with Ocean's Roar), Clear Moon, is issued, as it should be, on clear vinyl. Phil Elverum, the creative force behind Mount Eerie and its former incarnation, Microphones, is a master of mood. His albums are for headphones, for closed eyes, akin to sitting alone (or with silent friends) in the forest or on some chilled rocky outcropping from where you can see no sign of civilization and yet always aware that its there.
mount eerie clear moon

Albums Out 10/30: The Soft Moon, Neil Young, Killing Joke and More

Posted by Billy Gil, October 29, 2012 07:00pm | Post a Comment

Album Picks:

The Soft MoonZeros

The Soft Moon ZerosCD $12.98

LP $15.98

Slightly more pop than his first release but still dark enough to scare off the uninitiated, the second album from The Soft Moon improves upon Luis Vasquez’s one-man goth factory sound with a bit more muscle and increased emphasis on hooks and (somewhat) intelligible vocals. Vasquez’s sound — one part Dario Argento soundtrack, one part post-punk mastery — remains relentlessly bleak throughout Zeros, creating a sort of shut-in listening experience during which no light enters or escapes. The result isn’t alienating though; rather, Vasquez carefully builds the album up and keeps it chugging smoothly, from an almost M83-like synth-epic opening, to the short ‘n’ creepy “Machines,” to the title track, the first song we get of several that fulfills the promise of his earlier work. The title track and “Insides,” which immediately follows, sees Vasquez allow his voice to step out of the shadows a bit as he gives an impassioned scream in the title track’s buzzing climax, and on single “Insides,” he sings a discernable yet ghostly melody over a Pornography-era Cure backdrop of a looping guitar riff and bassline and mechanical beats. That breathy whisper that opens the song grabs you, but Vasquez seems to know he can’t offer only atmosphere forever, and his singing, emotional and buried, is a highlight across Zeros when it pops up. On “Dire Life,” which revs its synths before kicking off with a yelp, Vasquez drives listeners down a grim autobahn. Even better is “Want,” in which Vasquez cries “I want it…you have it” over clattering, afrobeat-esque drumwork that sounds like nothing else he’s done. It’s touches like this that keeps Zeros from being a one-note album, and though he doesn’t completely step out from the shadow of his influences, on Zeros Vasquez comes dangerously close, while scratching a very specific itch for immaculately constructed goth pop.

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Fire!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, May 18, 2009 10:45pm | Post a Comment
canned heat vintage lp coversunshine band sound of lp coverbeyond the blue horizon lp cover george benson
I present this blog as an offering to the Goddess Pele. May she protect us through the upcoming fire season!
chanuka songs lp coverosmond brothers lp coverdelilah lp cover
three suns fever & smoke lp coversweet blindness energize lp covermark radice lp cover
champaign woman in flames lp coverkilling joke fire dances lp cover
miss calypso maya angelou lp covercaptain and tennille come in from the rain lp coverwembley edwards fire goddess lp cover
michel legrand strings on fire lp covercarmen dragon tempo espanol lp cover
It's nice to see father and son in the same blog -- The Captain and his pop Carmen Dragon! If I could just fit the Surf Punks in somewhere it'd be an amazing hat trick!
moods for firelight lp cover francis scotthits explosivos! lp covermargot thomas move it lp cover

Finally, A Real How-To Book for Bands: Tour Smart

Posted by Billyjam, August 25, 2007 10:31am | Post a Comment
tour smart and break the band
In his recommended new book Tour Smart and Break the Band, about the real deal of touring as a band or artist, longtime drummer Martin Atkins (PiL, Killing Joke, Ministry, Pigface, etc.) tells it like it is to be on the road in a rock band, or in any band for that matter.  These days the busy author runs a record label, invents new types of drums, books bands, and teaches a univeristy course in Chicago at Columbia College about the business of the arts! The 592-page book (which is in stores Sept. 1st but available online now) exhaustively explores every aspect of touring. The highly informative and entertaining how-to book is written and edited by Atkins, who invited about a hundred music biz experts (from bus drivers to bass players) to voice their tales and experiences of life on the road for touring artists. Topics include making contracts, sketching itineries, pros and cons of drug use on the road, the importance of merchandise, sound checks, and dealing with everything from club sound checks to handling radio interviews and driving a tour bus 330 miles in unfamiliar conditions at 4AM after just leaving a gig. Atkins' guest contributors include Henry Rollins, Steve Albini, and Kevin Lyman of the Vans Warped Tour. Lee Frasers of Sheep on Drugs describes the difficulty of being on stage tripping on acid and playing his guitar, which felt to him like it was made of sponge rubber, and trying to somehow keep in the (onstage) moment.

I recently caught up with author Martin Atkins via email, to ask him about the book and also the exhibit  entitled The Religion of Marketing that he just wound up in New York City at Fuse Gallery on 2nd Avenue. It featured items that are included in the illustration-heavy Tour Smart.
martin atkins
AMOEBLOG: What exactly was at your recent exhibit in New York that tied in with the new book?

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