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Show Recap: Kan Wakan at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, June 25, 2014 07:18pm | Post a Comment

kan wakan amoeba hollywoodKan Wakan's sound on their recent Moving On album, a stew of stirring strings, classic rock organs, gleaming guitarwork and sensual vocals, seemed like it would be difficult to pull off in a live setting. But my first time seeing the band, June 18 at the store, showed just how skilled the band is at taking a heady and heavily orchestrated sound and making it work live. Beginning with cool polyrhythms and arpeggiating synths, singer Kristianne Bautista's vocals sounded husky and soulful one second, lilting the next, reminiscent of Bjork in their elasticity. Kan Wakan's sound is decidedly not small, playing as a seven-piece and creating grandiosity with surging crescendos, bells and tribal drums. Their songs sway and move, sultry and mysterious, oceanic amid surging guitars and crashing cymbals. The overall effect and intention seems to me to stir something up in you rather than smack you upside the head with something catchy, a nice antidote to the flood of overly excitable indie pop bands in L.A. Bautista's vocals were sometimes muffled by all the sci-fi synths and other craziness but would come through loudly every so often with a breathy forcefulness. For a band that trades in atmospherics and post-rock vibes, live, they're as gripping as a punk band.

See more photos from the show here.

Weekly Roundup: White Fence, Bleached, Warpaint, Wand, Music Go Music, Melted Toys, The Skygreen Leopards

Posted by Billy Gil, June 20, 2014 09:36am | Post a Comment

White Fence – “Like That”

white fenceIt can be a drag when artists who’ve previously recorded in lo-fi trade for something cleaner. But while the first song from Tim Presley’s fifth album as White Fence, For the Recently Found Innocent, was recorded in a studio and not the bedroom and features live drums, “Like That” isn’t some self-important statement or anything. It just better reveals the tunefulness that has always been prevalent in White Fence’s sprawling releases in a British Invasion-style subtle rocker. Ty Segall’s behind the boards this time—the last time these two got together to record, we got the collaborative album Hair, so we’re expecting great things this time around, too. For the Recently Found Innocent is due July 22 on Drag City.

 

Wand - "Flying Golem"

wand ganglion reef lpSpeaking of Ty Segall, the band he's touring with is pretty sick. They're L.A.-based Wand, and "Flying Golem" sounds like it's named after a Castlevania monster and rocks with a big, confident three-chord stomp. Ganglion Reef is due Aug. 26 on Segall's label, God?

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Weekly Roundup: Allah-Las, Gabriel Kahane, Evan Mellows, The Shoe, Matt Kivel, Painted Palms

Posted by Billy Gil, June 13, 2014 10:49am | Post a Comment

Allah-Las – “501-415”

allah-lasAllah-Las, who met while working here at Amoeba and went on to release an excellent self-titled debut two years ago, have a new one on the way called Worship the Sun, out Sept. 16 via Innovative Leisure, produced by Nick Waterhouse. “501-415” is both more stripped down and psychedelic than what we’ve heard before, with a country jangle and Pedrum Siadatian’s wandering vocal spiraling over a tremoloed guitar funked-out bassline. It’s an intriguing turn and leaves us hungry to hear what the rest of Worship the Sun will sound like. Allah-Las’ Miles Michaud recently came by Amoeba for one of our Sunday Spins sets presented by LA Record, which continue every Sunday at 5 p.m. this month. Check out an interview I did with them a while back.

 

Gabriel Kahane Releases ‘The Ambassador’

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Weekly Roundup: Zig Zags, EFG, The Cold and Lovely

Posted by Billy Gil, June 6, 2014 09:27am | Post a Comment

Zig Zags – “So Stoned” video

zig zagsL.A.’s Zig Zags have been steadily building steam by teasing out chunks destructive garage-rock with heavy doses of Sabbath and hardcore like this one, “So Stoned,” whose video is a glam-rock ode to getting stoned and watching YouTube videos. Ty Segall was behind the boards here, giving “So Stoned” that terrific feeling of barely being contained—too much rock! The trio’s self-titled debut album is due June 16 on In the Red.

 

EFG – “Singing Bridges”

efg singing bridgesThe new song by L.A.’s EFG (aka Electric Flower Group) starts as a lonely, spaced out Jesus & Mary Chain-esque pop tune before a throbbing bassline and absolutely corrosive guitars take over, sending the song into the stratosphere. The band’s fuzzed-out psych rock continues to develop nicely, so much so that the band is playing a plum slot at Chinatown Summer Nights on June 14, a free, outdoor fest once a month in Chinatown over the summer.

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Weekly Roundup: Woods, Tijuana Panthers, Cold Beat

Posted by Billy Gil, May 30, 2014 08:52am | Post a Comment

Woods – “Tambourine Light”

woods bandEven though they just released a new album, the excellent With Light and With Love, Woods already have a new, non-album single headed our way, the warm and luscious “Tambourine Light,” which will be paired with “Tomorrow’s Never Yesterday” (possibly a rejected James Bond movie title) on a single due July 8 from Captured Tracks and the band’s own Woodsist label. If you follow the whole Woodsist gang, you know they’ll be at Big Sur Aug. 5 and Pioneertown Aug. 16 for a pair of Woodsist fests, featuring Woods plus Foxygen, Skygreen Leopards and more.

 

Tijuana Panthers – “Nobo”

tijuana panthersI’m already a fan of the new Tijuana Panthers album, judging by their new-wavey first single “Cherry Street” and now this, a languid poolside rocker called “Nobo.” “Where do you get your money?” makes for an unexpectedly excellent chorus. Wayne Interest is due June 3 (preorder here) on Innovative Leisure, and the band plays The Roxy that night for free with Northern Tigers; they’re touring the West Coast with Fucked Up in August.

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