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Show Recap: Local Natives at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, January 30, 2013 03:55pm | Post a Comment

Local Natives AmoebaThe line wrapped around the block to see Local Natives play one of the biggest Amoeba in-stores in recent memory.

The L.A.-based band appeared Jan. 29 in support of their sophomore album, the epic Hummingbird, released the same day. Despite having released only one previous album, Gorilla Manor, in 2009, it was clear by the shouts of screaming girls and dudes alike that the band’s cult has grown sizably over the years.

Local Natives HummingbirdThe band opened with “You & I,” the majestic opening track of Hummingbird, with singer Kelcey Ayer booming his throaty voice through the store in the song’s opening lines and the band engaging in solid harmonies. “Breakers” sounded intense live, inspiring a clap-along.

From the get-go, it didn’t sound as though the band needed time to find their footing or were still trying to work out kinks in new songs; they sounded well-rehearsed and ready to go. They paused to sweetly give a shoutout to their hometown, offering gratitude and reflecting on the times they were on the other side of the stage.

In an offering to their fans, they launched into “Wide Eyes” from Gorilla Manor, a song they’re probably sick-to-death of playing, to huge response — a kind move in a show meant to promote their new album. They moved back to Hummingbird for standout “Heavy Feet,” which features some of the liveliest drumming and singing on the album, doubling that strength live in the show’s best moment.

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Local Natives Set to Play Amoeba Hollywood Jan. 29

Posted by Billy Gil, January 28, 2013 01:00pm | Post a Comment

Local Natives Southern California’s Local Natives are playing Amoeba Hollywood Jan. 29 at 6 p.m. Prior to that, and the release of their much-anticipated second album, Hummingbird, that same day, I caught up with lead singer Kelcey Ayer about the band’s development, the nearly four-year break between their albums and what went into creating the band’s new album.

PST: Some bands force a second record out quickly, while you guys have seemed to take your time, refining and changing your sound over the past couple of years. Did you aim to take your time with this record, or was that a byproduct of touring or other priorities and obligations?

Local nativesAyer: It’s kind of both actually. People think we took all this time off, but we practically didn’t take any. We toured all of 2009 and 2010, and planned to start writing at the beginning of 2011, but then these offers came in that we just couldn’t say no to (opening for Arcade Fire, playing the Walt Disney Concert Hall with an orchestra, traveling and playing throughout Mexico, etc.). We finally locked down our own rehearsal/recording space together that summer, but diving into writing got postponed yet again because of a death in my family. From there we spent a year writing and making the record, and by the time it was finished last September, we decided it would be better to release it the beginning of this year. But none of that bothered us since we’d always told ourselves that we wouldn’t rush things. We thought if there was any way to avoid the sophomore slump, it would be by taking our time and not giving ourselves that unneeded pressure. We figured that it doesn’t matter when a record comes out if it’s not your best effort.

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Show Recap: FIDLAR at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, January 25, 2013 04:45pm | Post a Comment

FIDLAR AmoebaLA’s FIDLAR ripped through most of their new self-titled album at Amoeba Hollywood Jan. 24 with hardly a pause for breath.

From the outset, when they broke into the four-chord, “I’m Not Your Steppin’ Stone”-style stomp of “Stoked and Broke,” things were loud, loud, loud. That continued through the next couple of songs on their album, the breakneck-speed “White on White” and quirky surf riffery of “No Waves.” It was a shame that you could hear barely a word of vocals from the band and its two singers, Zac Caper and Elvis Kuehn, whose true-to-life detailing of being in your mid-20s, in a band, without a proper job and getting drunk every night is a big part of FIDLAR’s appeal. Musically, though, the band never faltered, inducing trance with the looped opening notes of “Whore” before smashing through the song’s nasty, Sabbathy punk rock. Things came through loud-and-clear enough for the band’s shout along chorus to closer “Cheap Beer,” echoed by the sizable audience: “I! Drink! Cheap! Beer! So! What! Fuck! You!”

The show was a perfect example of FIDLAR’s ethos (“Fuck it Dawg, Life’s a Risk,” is what their name stands for). They don’t play the volume they should. They don’t wait to make sure their vocals are loud enough or fuss with the sound guy. They just play. And the kids went wild.

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Show Recap: Jessie Ware at Amoeba

Posted by Billy Gil, January 24, 2013 09:43am | Post a Comment

Jessie Ware Amoeba

British songstress Jessie Ware emerged dressed down, looking like Stevie Nicks in a black ensemble and hoop earrings, Jan. 22 at Amoeba Hollywood. It’s only worth mentioning as it coincided with the difference between her live show, raw and organic, and her more digital records, on the covers of which she appears glossy and glammed up.

Ware, known as kind of the hipster Sade, began with “Devotion,” the title track to her Mercury Prize-nominated debut album, which will see a physical release in the U.S. later this year. Her voice sounded quiet against her band’s booming basslines, but by the set’s second song, the title track to her EP, “If You’re Never Gonna Move,” everything locked into place as she began loosening up, and tried to loosen up the audience too, who laughed when she called out their serious faces. “Sweet Talk,” which appears on both the album and EP, sounded lush and bassy as her four-piece created an approximation of the recordings, with one guy handling both guitars and keys. Her voice sounded incredible on “Sweet Talk” as well as “What You Won’t Do for Love,” a cover of the Bobby Caldwell quiet storm classic.

Ware’s voice and manner grew more confident over the course of the show, with each subsequent song, like “Wildest Moments,” sounding better than the last. She hurriedly introduced her band and gushed about playing with The Roots on “Jimmy Fallon,” pulling the audience in with endearing gratitude for her success. The show demonstrated how Ware is still developing as a central performer (she rose to prominence guesting on tracks by Joker and SBTRKT) and learning how to work a stage, but her voice was impeccable, reserving her belting for a spine-tingling finish in “Running.”

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Redd Kross Added to Amoeba Exclusive Downloads

Posted by Billy Gil, December 6, 2012 04:33pm | Post a Comment

Redd kross amoebaL.A. original punks Redd Kross performed a blistering set earlier this year in support of their excellent 2012 album Researching the Blues, and now Amoeba.com has an exclusive download of the title track from that performance! You know it’s legit because Redd Kross bassist Steve McDonald did the mixing himself. Buy it now on MP3, M4A or WAV file.

See photos of the performance here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t forget about Amoeba’s other exclusives:

 

2001 alex northMusic for 2001: A Space Odyssey (The Original Score by Alex North) — Alex North’s famously rejected score for Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is available now, for the first time ever, as an Amoeba.com digital download exclusive.

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