Amoeblog

Electronic Artist Thavius Beck Talks to Amoeblog Before Nov. 2 Performance

Posted by Billy Gil, October 31, 2012 02:30pm | Post a Comment

Thavius BeckMinneapolis transplant Thavius Beck has been making music here in LA for the past 15 years or so, first as Adlib, rapping and producing for hip-hop collective Global Phlowtations and releasing several solo albums as Adlib before releasing his first album as Thavius Beck, Decomposition, in 2004, while working at Amoeba Hollywood. His glitched-out hip-hop sound led him to production work for the likes of Saul Williams and Busdriver and a remix for Nas. He’s worked alongside Trent Reznor and Zack De La Rocha and released several more albums over the years, the most recent of which is the instrumental electronic record The Most Beautiful Ugly. Thavius Beck returns to Amoeba Hollywood this Friday Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. to perform. I spoke to Beck a bit before his performance.

Thavius Beck The Most Beautiful UglyPST: It’s impressive that you produced a full album and then had a mixtape of outtakes that was also both strong and coherent as its own set. About how much music do you typically produce before whittling it down for an album?

Continue reading...

Patti Smith Performs Live at Amoeba Hollywood!

Posted by Billy Gil, October 11, 2012 08:15pm | Post a Comment

Patti Smith Live at AmoebaIt was hard to believe I was watching Patti Smith live at Amoeba today. She seems like the kind of artist who doesn't exist in real life, yet here she was sounding every bit as amazing as on her landmark first album, Horses, while launching into suicide story "Redondo Beach" at the beginning of her set. She danced and smiled her way through "April Fool," the gleeful first single from Banga, her excellent most recent album, released earlier this year. "You're so quiet ... it must be the hallowed ground of the record store," she teased the audience before launching into "Fuju-san." She introduced Banga's "This is the Girl" as being about Amy Winehouse, adding a darker shade to a beautifully rendered song about the girl "who yearned to be heard."

While her bandmates played acoustically, you could really hear Smith and how gracefully her voice has matured, sounding natural and unstrained on the newer material and projecting the wisdom of years onto her classics. She strapped on a guitar for a snarly rendition of "Banga" — but not before asking why AMC dropped The Killing. "I'll be back at 2 in the morning, we'll talk about really serious stuff," she quipped on the night of the Vice Presidential debate.

Continue reading...

Flying Lotus Rocks Amoeba With Killer Set

Posted by Billy Gil, October 4, 2012 12:05pm | Post a Comment

Flying Lotus AmoebaThe subtleties of what goes into creating a Flying Lotus song could be seen when he took the stage at Amoeba Hollywood Oct. 1, the day before his new album, Until the Quiet Comes, was officially released. Fly Lo worked busily over a minimal setup of a couple of laptops and samplers/sequencers. He played bits from the new album, like the bass-heavy “Sultan’s Request,” but kept things moving quickly — much like his albums do — never lingering long on a particular sound or song before flowing it into the next. A large and very appreciative crowd head-bobbed furiously to the music (the beatheads’ equivalent to head banging) as Fly Lo worked the heavier side of his sound spectrum, unlike the mostly chilled-out quality of his latest album. He paused a minute from the beat assault and spinning bits of songs like Schoolboy Q/A$ap Rocky’s “Hands on the Wheel,” Jay-Z/Kanye West’s “Ni**as in Paris,” Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin Bout You,” Portishead’s “Machine Gun” and Beastie Boys’ “Intergalactic” to welcome the audience and later ask for Transformers 3 on Blu-ray — which he got, and held up with glee, before passing it off quickly to continue hyperactively turning knobs and setting off sequences. Watching Flying Lotus at somewhere like the Hollywood Bowl, it can be easy to dismiss the work he puts into everything. In closer quarters Flying Lotus appears as a virtuoso, animatedly hunching and bouncing over his machines and stroking them like a piano with ease. They don’t call him a beat maestro for nothing. Flying Lotus was joined by fellow artists from his Brainfeeder label Teebs and Jeremiah Jae, the latter of who released one of my favorite hip-hop albums this year, Raw Money Raps. See more photos from the performance and Flying Lotus’ signing session here!

Continue reading...

Redd Kross Live at Amoeba Photos Up Now

Posted by Billy Gil, August 30, 2012 05:30pm | Post a Comment
L.A. original power-pop-punks Redd Kross showed up for one of the most fun sets at Amoeba Hollywood in recent memory. The band performed material from their new album, Researching the Blues, as well as from across their catalog, from “Annette’s Got the Hits” to “Stay Away From Downtown.” Fans shouted for favorites and obscurities like “Star Lust” while the brothers Jeff and Steve McDonald still looked and sounded youthful, whipping their long hair around and preening with rock star glee. The band, which also includes Robert Hecker and Roy McDonald, sounded as invigorated live as you might have guessed if you’ve heard Researching the Blues. The more sugary tracks have extra bite live, while songs like the new album’s blistering title track really are meant to be heard live. Amongst the irresistible wahoos and kicks and stick tossing, it became clear, if there’s one thing these vets could show the young guns, you know, besides songwriting and knowing how to play your instruments, is that when you look like you’re having a lot of fun onstage, that energy is infectious. See more photos from the set here; check out my interview with Steve McDonald here.

redd kross amoeba
redd kross amoeba 2

Show Recap: Everest Live at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, August 23, 2012 06:10pm | Post a Comment
everest live at amoeba 1L.A. psych rockers Everest proved they’re really a band to be seen live, with a set at Amoeba Hollywood to promote their new album, Ownerless. Beginning with the first song off of that album, “Rapture,” Everest’s five members hit the harmonies close to perfectly that softly line the song, but the real showcase comes with a heavy guitar freakout that appears in the last third of the song. Such guitar noise breaks are sometimes difficult to convey on record; Everest does, as Ownerless attests, but live, the reverberations from their three-guitar psych attack are more even more untamed, lacking compression and studio sheen. The same went for the band’s second song, and second on the album, “Into the Grey,” whose heartfelt vocals and whistling melody make it a hooky, easy to latch onto song in the band’s catalog. Russell Pollard’s vocals, which compare favorably with My Morning Jacket’s Jim James and The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, make the song a standout, but live, again, guitars take center stage, with the song’s freakout part a lot freakier, lifting off the song’s nicely building momentum and great underlying guitar ambience. Pollard switched to acoustic guitar for some of the set’s relatively lighter numbers, including “Give a Little,” highlighted by nicely ascending melodies. “It’s always nice to come back home,” Pollard said, who used to work at Amoeba. A head-bobbing crowd welcomed him back warmly, appreciative of the band’s lush melodies and spirals of guitar noise. (See more pics here.)

Continue reading...
BACK  <<  1  2  3  4  5  6  >>  NEXT