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50 Favorite Albums of 2011

Posted by Aaron Detroit, December 18, 2011 12:00am | Post a Comment

Aaron Detroit, Buyer at Amoeba Hollywood. As you may know, I've worked in Hollywood for 8 years, but started my time with Amoeba - way back in 1998 -  at the San Francisco store. This is my extensive list of 2011 releases that I fell in love with or had hot and heavy affairs with this year.

50 Favorite Albums of 2011



  1. Wild Beasts Smother

In 2008, Brit quartet Wild Beasts released their shaky-legged -but- stunning debut, Limbo Panto. In the four years since, the band has released two thoroughly dazzling masterpiece full-lengths of deceptively delicate indie rock, lyrically bent towards looking in the dark recesses of the heart and libido, largely sung by co-vocalist Hayden Thorpe in his trademark falsetto. Smother finds the band adding a new restraint to their arrangements that allows the tension in the lyrics to hit with hair-on-end chills. It is a singular LP by a singular band that I expect will eventually reach a Radiohead-level stratosphere. 

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Ignoring Haters & Dismissing Cancer Rumors, Adele Continues Her Rise to Become the Top Selling Artist of 2011

Posted by Billyjam, November 3, 2011 08:17am | Post a Comment
At each Amoeba Music as well as at near every music store around the world one of the consistently most popular albums of this year has been Adele's phenomenally successful second album 21 on XL/Columbia which in this past week hit (again) the number one slot on the Billboard album charts for the second week in a row - and repeating the feat of capturing the number slot that it has accomplished on thirteen previous chart weeks throughout 2011.

The popularity & corresponding sales of the album, which was released back in February (it was released the previous month in her native UK), have been driven by the success of its singles including the latest "Someone Like You" (see video below), "Set Fire To The Rain," and the incredibly popular, raw blues driven, album lead-off single "Rolling In The Deep."

From its early 2011 release the album has been heralded as an instant classic by everyone including such folks at Amoeba Hollywood as Ray Ricky Rivera, L.L., and Super Cooper who said of 21, "I’m not going to be the first or last to tell you that this record is stunning. Just listen to “Someone Like You” and try not to cry. If you can’t cry, I feel sorry for you. That song can change you, if you let it in. Let it in."

But despite the non stop accolades and all of Adele's success things looked bleak for the singer after it was announced last Friday that she suddenly had to cancel the remaining concert dates of her 2011 tour. This news immediately fueled much speculation and rumors that Adele was suffering from throat cancer. But these rumors were dismissed by the artist and her spokesman who this week made this statement, "We would like to reiterate that Adele is to undergo surgery for a hemorrhaged vocal chord. All reports regarding any other condition are 100% false."

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Trip to Hawai'i: Part 1

Posted by Job O Brother, July 7, 2011 01:10pm | Post a Comment

hula girl


Aloha, bitches! The boyfriend and I have just returned from a luxuriously lengthy leisure-time in Moku’āina o Hawai’i – specifically, the islands of Maui and Moloka’i. What will follow, over a course of weeks, is my travelogue. SPOILER ALERT: I survive to write this paragraph you’re reading.

hibiscus

Thursday. June 16, 2011.

Nothing makes me wistful for days gone by like traveling by plane. I’m old enough to remember a time when you could escape your reasonably comfortable seat for a small, smoking lounge and make small-talk with other passengers. Meals were included and expected, complimentary playing cards were practically forced on you, and bathrooms were more than one square inch larger than my skeleton.

Traveling by plane was a luxury, like taking a limo, pre-ordering a soufflé, or soaking in salt crystals made from blood diamonds. There was an implied dignity – it was something to look forward to: to be seated and be served.

airplane lounge
Before the terrorists won.

Cut to: me and my boyfriend frantically racing to gut our backpacks and pockets of anything shiny and throwing them in large, grey tubs – Will my lip balm set off the alarm? Better throw it in, just in case…; stripping ourselves of shoes and spectacles, praying to a God that doesn’t exist we aren’t targeted to be put through the x-ray, knowing we’d refuse and have to succumb to the most unfulfilling massage imaginable; finally making it to our gate to find the two flights before us have been delayed since dawn, so the terminal is as absolutely packed with weary bodies, looking like some alternative concentration camp where people actually gained weight.

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Remembering “The Big Man” Clarence Clemons (January 11, 1942 – June 18, 2011)

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, June 20, 2011 06:55pm | Post a Comment

Clarence Clemons, the blazing sax powerhouse behind Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, passed away Saturday, June 18th at the age of 69 after hospitalization for a stroke he suffered at his home in Singer Island, Florida.
 

Clarence Clemons


Clemons was an original member of Springsteen's E Street Band, tearing it up with The Boss for nearly four decades.  Throughout the years, Clemons also pursued other musical projects with luminaries such as Jackson Browne, Aretha Franklin, Roy Orbison, Grateful Dead, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, and even Twisted Sister ("Be Chrool to Your Scuel"). Most recently, he had collaborated with Lady Gaga on the songs "Hair" and "The Edge of Glory" from Born This Way. Impressive, but of all his guest appearances, jamming with President Clinton at the inaugural ball in 1993 might be his most memorable collaboration.

Clemons & Clinton, saxing it up.


Clemons also had an active acting career, appearing in films as diverse as Martin Scorsese’s New York, New York and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. His television cameos were no less varied, with appearances on Diff’rent Strokes, The Weird Al Show, and The Wire.

To honor the eclectic, larger-than-life genius of Clarence Clemons, here is a sampling of videos from his diverse and wonderful life: 

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out this week 5/17 & 5/23...det vackra livet...brendan perry...robin guthrie...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 27, 2011 01:49pm | Post a Comment

I finally got a copy of the new album by Det Vackra Livet. It has actually only been out for a couple of weeks now but I have been dying to hear this album! I fell hard for the Mary Onettes a couple of years ago when they released their second album Islands in 2009. Things sure seem to happen in cycles. The last Mary Onettes album came out about the same time as the first Cold Cave album and another Morrissey compilation and now all 3 have releases this month again! Maybe Morrissey just releases too many albums...but I don't think there really could ever be enough. Some might say that the debut self titled Mary Onettes album from 2007 is even better than Islands, and I go back and forth on which I like better but they are both essential albums that you should own. The band is from Sweden, which is reason enough to fall in love with the Mary Onettes! I am telling you, I just love Sweden. They mix an 80s sort of Ultravox and Pet Shop Boys sound with maybe somedet vackra livet Sigur Ros and the twee sounds of Belle & Sebastian.

The two brothers from The Mary Onettes have just released a new album in their native tongue -- Philip and Henrik Ekstrom are now known as Det Vackra Livet for this new project. It has all of the elements that I love from The Mary Onettes, just without the English. This is beautiful stuff. I have been really loving this new album which was released on the same excellent label that released The Mary Onettes albums, Labrador... which of course has my name right in the middle of it, so of course I was going to love this label! They have put out some of my favorites over the last decade from artists like The Acid House Kings, who also just released a fantastic new album, as well as my favorites Radio Dept. and The Legends. And Pelle Carlberg! And Club 8 and The Sound of Arrows! This label can seriously do no wrong. They have been so consistently awesome that I really don't even understand how they do it. But I thank them for it. Please do yourself a favor and check out this new album from Det Vackra Livet. You will not regret it.

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