Amoeblog

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.

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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.)

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Redd Kross' Steve McDonald Talks to Amoeba About "Researching the Blues"

Posted by Billy Gil, August 16, 2012 04:02pm | Post a Comment

redd krossRedd Kross have been the quintessential underground band for the past three decades. The band has nearly always eschewed both pop and indie convention by staying true to its sound, likely angering as many pop fans with its snottiness and random references to Tatum O’Neil and Shonen Knife as they would indie purirsts with its insistence on lacing its acidic songs with undeniable pop hooks.
 
From Hawthorne, Calif. and based around the duo of brothers Jeff and Steve McDonald, Redd Kross first released music in 1980 with a self-titled EP, after opening for Black Flag as teenagers for its first gig. Other musicians came and went as the band released records throughout the ’80s and ’90s, hitting their stride with 1987’s Neurotica and 1990's Third Eye. Following 1997’s Show World, the band all but disappeared, with its members occasionally surfacing for other projects — Steve McDonald famously added bass parts to The White StripesWhite Blood Cells, redubbing it Redd Blood Cells, which saw thousands of downloads and press hubbub. The brothers McDonald separately produced albums by other artists as well.
 
researching the bluesThe elusive band returned in 2006 to play a set at REDCAT in Los Angeles covering the band’s entire catalog, featuring the Neurotica-era lineup of the McDonalds, Robert Hecker and Roy McDonald. They toured and played a killer set of the entire Born Innocent album opening for Sonic Youth, who played all of Daydream Nation (I was there! Yessss.), at the Greek Theater in L.A. In 2008 they played Coachella, among numerous other festivals and appearances over the past few years. Now, finally, Redd Kross have released an album of new material, entitled Researching the Blues. The album has seen some of the band’s best reviews, garnering an 81% on reviews aggregator Metacritic, and it’s not hard to see why, hearing the enlivened swagger the band displays on songs like the title track (download free here), while maintaining the dynamism that has always set the band apart, also including shimmering power-pop ballads like “Dracula’s Daughter” and “Winter Blues.”

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Jovanotti Amoeba Performance Up for Streaming

Posted by Billy Gil, August 13, 2012 09:07pm | Post a Comment
Italian rapper extraordinaire Jovanotti just performed at Amoeba Hollywood, and the performance is up to stream now. For the unitiated, the dapper performer raps over over loungey Italian pop-rock, with the swagger of both a rapper and an Italian baladeer. In his words, "I mix romantic flavor in a typical Italian melody with the hip people sound of global technology." A best-of compilation of sorts called Italia 1988-2012 was released stateside last week. Watch as he wins over an enthusiastic crowd, speaking both Italian and English "like a New York City taxi driver" and even a bit of Spanish, performing songs like "Tutto L'Amore Che Ho," "Fango" and a molto italiano cover of "Rapper's Delight" near the end. Bravo!



thenewno2's Dhani Harrison Answers Questions Before Performing at Amoeba

Posted by Billy Gil, July 31, 2012 02:23pm | Post a Comment
Thenewno2The first time I heard thenewno2 was in my car, listening to KCRW. Their song “Make It Home” was on, and I was immediately taken with its unusual, insistent melody. It was enough to get me Shazamming the song immediately and discovering who this band was. This method of discovery is appropriate enough, given the band's fusion of electronic experimentation, programmed sounds and rock hooks. I was surprised to find out the band’s singer is Dhani Harrison, son of my favorite Beatle, George Harrison. But not only does he look like his father, his voice bears a pretty strong resemblance as well. The now Los Angeles-based (formed in London) band, which includes Grammy-winning sound engineer Paul Hicks, as well as Jonathan Sadoff, Jeremy Faccone, Nick Fyffe and Frank Zummo, will perform at Amoeba Hollywood today at 6 p.m. and sign copies sold at the store of their second album (which is out today), thefearofmissionout. Harrison even mentioned the performance on Conan — sweet! I caught up with Harrison a bit before their performance.
 


PST: What did you try to do differently on this time around compared to the last album?

Harrison: Write better songs. Work with more people. Get more a group vibe going, more of a collective, different heads in the game, more creative, more players on the pitch. Mash it up a bit more. The last one was being like a lonely astronaut. This record kind of like a big gang.

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