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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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Show Report: Lord Huron at Amoeba Hollywood; Tame Impala at the El Rey

Posted by Billy Gil, November 20, 2012 08:12pm | Post a Comment

Lord HuronWestern-themed rockers dressed for the part Lord Huron began their set Nov. 19 at Amoeba Hollywood with “Ends of the Earth,” the opener of Lonesome Dreams, the band’s recently released debut record. The fact that the band brought the bongos that appear on the song to the crowded stage shows what detail means for the band, who didn’t skimp on additional instrumentation beyond the typical guitars-and-drums setup. That attention paid off, as Ben Schneider and his band’s music was nicely layered without sounding cluttered. The set made the most of the band’s five-man makeup, utilizing starry guitar lines and soaring harmonies to great effect. The band turned in a splashier version of “I Will Be Back One Day,” rocking out a bit harder while making the vocals less of a priority. The sound of ocean opened to the galloping rhythm of “Time to Run,” a clear crowd favorite. “The Man Who Lives Forever” proved the band’s most impressive song live, beautifully syncopated and stuffed with gorgeous guitar work, complete with slide guitar and harmonic playing. It was amazing to hear what they could accomplish with just a handful of guitars, echoing the sounds of banjo, southern rock and Eastern-influenced tonality. See more photos of the show here. Read my interview with Schneider here.

Friday I caught Tame Impala at The El Rey Theatre. I’ve been sick for over a week with a stupid head cold that makes my eyes start to shut around 10 p.m., but I was determined to see my favorite current band — and El Rey shows end early. The first thing I noticed was that the show was packed, and not entirely with your garden-variety hipsters. Older folks and lots of BROS. But like, cool, sensitive ones. Cause Tame Impala have left their Australian lily pad of coolness with their latest album, Lonerism, which has garnered the band great widespread acclaim and support from Pitchfork, KCRW and the like. So they upgrade to The El Rey from The Echo, where I think they played the last time they were in these parts.

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Lord Huron's Ben Schneider Talks to Amoeba, Band Plays Amoeba Hollywood Nov. 19

Posted by Billy Gil, November 15, 2012 01:49pm | Post a Comment

Lord Huron Ben SchneiderOn Lonesome Dreams, Lord Huron’s Ben Schneider creates a soundtrack for travel. Opener “Ends of the Earth” finds him telling his lover “There’s an island where everything is silent/I’m gonna whistle a tune,” among other evocative lines about getting the hell out of dodge. From there his Americana-fueled journey touches on hints of the exotic — the clanging percussion of “Time to Run” calling to mind the East while he sings concurrently about finding a life way out West. Along the way he discovers the loneliness of wide-open space on the spare title track; harmonicas haunt him on “The Ghost on the Shore,” hinting at nostalgia born from hitting the edge of the land and looking back. The whole thing gallops along with country jangle, nightsky atmosphere and Schneider’s throaty, impassioned vocals, and it’s nearly impossible not to get swept in its romanticism.

The whole thing could be thought of as a travelogue for Schneider’s own journey out west, travelling from his home in Michigan to New York, around the world and eventually to Los Angeles, where while pursuing a career in visual arts, his Lord Huron project took off. Comprising songs he recorded back in Michigan at Lake Huron, where he formatively would strum the guitar in his youth, his first EP Yours, Truly gained traction in the blogosphere, and Schneider formed a band to begin playing live in 2010. His debut record, Lonesome Dreams, is out now via IAMSOUND. Lord Huron play Amoeba Hollywood Monday Nov. 19 at 7:00 p.m. I took a minute to speak with Schneider about his journeys, musical and otherwise.

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