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Show Recap: Girlpool at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, June 3, 2015 03:45pm | Post a Comment

girlpool amoeba Philly-by-way-of-L.A. duo Girlpool came to Amoeba Hollywood on June 2, the release day of their debut LP, Before the World Was Big, for an intimate, special performance. But the cool thing about Girlpool is that all of their performances feel this way; with just two members, Cleo Tucker (guitar) and Harmony Tividad (bass) and no drummer, Girlpool place the focus on their songs, which feel small enough to fit in your hands but are deceptively intricate and lyrically oblique, forcing you to turn them over and try to figure them out.

girlpool before the world was big lpThe band began with album opener “Ideal World,” which puts their feminist message at the forefront, declaring “Put me on a food stamp and a Hallmark card/Tranquilize me with your ideal world.” Single “Chinatown” followed, the song moving from a serene folk feel and walking bassline to cutting noise. The duo sounded most confident when they sang in unison on lines like “If I told you I loved you, would you take it the wrong way?” The band stayed away from their self-titled EP’s initially grabbing songs, “Jane” and “Blah Blah Blah,” and instead played “Paint Me Colors,” a more morose tune with lyrics like “I’ll never understand what it means to be a man who is white ‘cause he never has to fight” and a noisey ending reminiscent of Dramarama’s “Anything, Anything.”  

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Girlpool Chat With the Amoeblog Before Their L.A. Performance June 2

Posted by Billy Gil, June 1, 2015 10:00am | Post a Comment

girlpool amoebaL.A. duo Girlpool find something new and intriguing among familiar elements on their debut LP, Before the World Was Big. Twin vocals wrap around lonely bass and guitar lines that wander the empty space left by a lack of accompanying instruments, placing the focus on the Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad's vocals, wide-eyed and untamed like two feral children searching for clarity in a supposedly civilized world. Their debut calls to mind indie-rock heroes of yore from The Breeders to Modest Mouse without really sounding like any band before them—a feat in and of itself—singing of the trappings of a typical life ("Ideal World"), endless tour boredom ("Dear Nora") and the sudden nostalgia that hits at the end of your teenage years, where Tucker and Tividad currently find themselves, evoking the image walking to and from school in matching dresses and feeling like you grew up too fast on the title track. Unlike that of most bands, the hype surrounding Girlpool is entirely understandable—it's rare to find music this special.

Girlpool play Amoeba Hollywood June 2 at 6 p.m. I briefly caught up with Tucker and Tividad before the day of their show, which is also the release date for Before the World Was Big.

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PINS Reveal "Molly," Play Amoeba SF June 16

Posted by Billy Gil, May 28, 2015 09:07am | Post a Comment

pins bandOn this new track from PINS called “Molly,” the four Manchester ladies drum up a narcotic girl-group sway, perhaps a comedown from the title in question. Singer/guitarist Faith Vern sings of “wild nights with Molly” while Anna Donigan (bass), Lois Macdonald (guitar) Sophie Galpin (drums) & Kyoko Swann (synths/guitar) create a rockabilly-influenced backdrop. Listen via Stereogum.

pins wild nights lpIt’s the latest from the band’s upcoming sophomore album, Wild Nights, due June 9 on Bella Union. To kick off the album’s release, the band plays Amoeba SF on June 16 at 6 p.m. before hitting the Rickshaw Stop that night.

The other tracks revealed from the album have shown a variety of moods and styles, include the stomping “Young Girls” and brooding “Too Little Too Late.” Check out those videos below. “Young Girls” is particularly haunting, with its Jawbreaker meets The Craft in the English suburbs vibe.


Show Recap: Tanlines at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, May 20, 2015 05:18pm | Post a Comment

tanlines amoeba hollywood

Tanlines have always stood out among the crowded field of electro-pop bands. Their 2012 debut, Mixed Emotions, was clever without being pretentious, cute without being cloying, and hooky as hell to the point that we'd go see them play live years after the fact and without a new album.

tanlines highlights lpNow, with a sturdy new album finally under their belts, the reliably fine live band came out to Amoeba Hollywood May 19 to play a set from the just-released Highlights. The duo (live, a quartet) launched into their first-ever Amoeba set with countryish ballad “Invisible Ways,” a bold choice since it’s one example of how Highlights hops genres and strays from the electro-pop mold, but it’s also one of the album's best songs and a chance for singer Eric Emm to do his best Bryan Ferry over jangling chords.

“We’re not used to seeing this many CDs in the audience,” bassist/keyboardist/percussionist Jesse Cohen said before diving into the surf-rocky new wave of “Slipping Away.” “I love that song!” he said as they tended to their sound and intro’d Mixed Emotions’ “Brothers,” awash with synth and ratcheting forward on live electronic drums. The moody “Bad Situations” followed, again nicely featuring live electronic drums and Emm’s breaking croon.

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Colleen Green Talks Growing Up and Turning 30 Before Amoeba Performance

Posted by Billy Gil, February 23, 2015 10:44am | Post a Comment

colleen green amoebaMuch has been made of the mid-life crisis, but Colleen Green details the kind of quarter-life crisis that happens in your late 20s on her new album, I Want to Grow Up. Over fizzy power-pop chords and purring solos, Green’s girlish coo is so sweet you almost miss the hungover, self-flagellating lyrics that fill I Want to Grow Up—“I’m sick of being immature … I think I need a schedule,” she confesses on the title track. But I Want to Grow Up is also a lot of fun, as Green doesn’t take herself so seriously, writing odes to TV and her lack of an attention span that are as funny as they are self-critical. Even in the admonishing “Things That Are Bad For Me (Part 1),” Green admits in part two, “I wanna do drugs right now/I wanna get fucked up, I don’t care how.”

Green talked to us a bit about her new album before her show at Amoeba Hollywood Feb. 24 at 7 p.m.

The songs on I Want to Grow Up really hold together as an album because there’s an inward quality to them, for the most part. Did you write them kind of all at once in a certain frame of mind or were they written more slowly?

They were kind of written over the course of a few years. They started out primarily as ideas that I thought about for a long time before I tried to sit down and make music out of them. Once I got to that stage where I was like OK, I need to record this and get this done, it all kind of materialized as a set kind of well.

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