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Show Recap: Jhene Aiko at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, September 12, 2014 04:48pm | Post a Comment

jhene aiko amoeba hollywood

For an artist who was essentially just releasing her first LP, Jhene Aiko certainly came across as a star when she performed at Amoeba Hollywood Sept. 10.

Aiko, of course, is not unknown; she has guested on numerous hip-hop tracks, perhaps most notably singing the heartfelt opening to Drake’s “From Time,” off of one of the biggest albums of the past couple of years. Still, despite her apparent rolodex of big-name artists, Aiko herself has remained curiously in the shadows.

Until now, that is. Her first full-length LP, Souled Out, is an elegant collection of breathy L.A. soul with just the right hip-hop touch. It’s an album that puts her front-and-center, unlike her .sailing soul(s). mixtape and Sail Out EP, which drew on such high-profile guest stars as Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West. This time, save for a last-minute guest spot from Common, Aiko’s pretty much sailing alone. That seemed just fine with the line of fans who stretched around the block at Amoeba for the chance to see her:

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Show Recap: Spoon at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, August 8, 2014 02:33pm | Post a Comment

spoon britt daniels amoeba hollywoodI was curious to hear how Spoon’s sonically brilliant new album would come across live. Though they’ve always been a solid, rhythmically interesting band, producer David Fridmann gave the band an extra something special on this new album that made them really come alive on record.

Live, the album’s varied songs really popped, from the workmanlike “Rent I Pay” to the thumping yet introspective “Inside Out.” Clearly, the band is as enamored of their new songs as are critics, as the band counted off songs gleefully and seemed to up the volume of the groove every time for maximum impact.

spoon they want my soul cdThough they’re an engaging live band, Spoon are also knob twiddlers at heart, and by the third song, the space-Motown of “Rainy Taxi,” their sound had been perfected, erupting into a noise break at the end. Britt Daniels was reliably on throughout, his gritty vocals cutting through a loud mix.

It was great to hear the band bust out “I Turn My Camera On” (from 2005’s Gimme Fiction), the song’s carefully cultivated beat serving as a nice counterpoint to their noisier new material, as well as the comparable “Small Stakes” (from 2002’s Kill the Moonlight). The songs served as a reminder of Spoon’s many strong albums—remember the Beatlesesque “Don't Make Me a Target,” from 2007’s excellent Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga? It sounded great, even if Daniels seemed frustrated for a moment while on his knees wailing on the guitar (funny, since he could just stand still, looking and sounding perfect and people would be happy).

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Show Recap: Cate le Bon at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, May 2, 2014 06:00pm | Post a Comment

cate le bon amoeba hollywoodCate le Bon’s songs have a ragged glory, spare, yet intricate and propulsive like Television and Patti Smith Group before her, with a world-weary soul cutting through via le Bon’s swooping vocals. Backed by her sturdy, three-piece band, they launched into the clockwork shuffle of “No God,” from her most recent release, 2013’s excellent Mug Museum, at Amoeba Hollywood April 30.

Le Bon shifted gears from icy to sultry for single “Are You With Me Now,” which has the feel of a classic reggae ballad covered by a CBGBs band. The set picked up for album opener “I Can’t Help You,” its interlocking post-punk guitars and le Bon's sultry voice moving into a snarling chorus while le Bon's nimble-fingered guitarist doubled as keyboardist, playing jaunty synth organ to balance the songs jagged edges. They got playful for “Duke,” a song whose singsongy melody ends in a banshee wail from le Bon.

Her set moved from le Bon’s most immediate songs to some of her most challenging ones. “Sisters” started harmlessly enough with an upbeat jangle but ended in atonal guitar jabs and a ping-ponging bassline. “Wild,” Mug Museum’s heaviest rocker, saw some of le Bon’s wildest guitar playing as the song ended in a krautrock freakout. And for anyone not new to the le Bon fold, she pulled out Cyrk’s “Fold the Cloth,” its ornate arrangement balancing Mug Museum’s directness and ending things with eerie harmonies and spurts of carefully orchestrated guitar noise.

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Amoeba Presents Shlohmo Live at the Fonda!

Posted by Billy Gil, March 12, 2013 03:49pm | Post a Comment

Shlohmo AMoebaThe latest Amoeba Presents show comes to us from electronic artist Shlohmo. In conjunction with Goldenvoice and FYF, the show, billed as a “Live A/V set,” will also include R&B artist Jeremih, with whom Shlohmo will be collaborating, as well as sets from underground songstress Nite Jewel and the Wedidit DJ Team.

The show takes place at the Henry Fonda Theatre Saturday, April 6. Tickets are available in-store at Amoeba Hollywood for $20 (plus a $2 service fee). The show is all-ages and starts at 8 p.m.

L.A. artist Shlohmo layers analog-warm samples of synth, funk, reverbed guitar and blissed-out vocal loops over one another on releases such as 2011’s Bad Vibes album and the recently released Vacation EP. His most recent release, the Laid Out EP, sees him collaborating with How to Dress Well’s Tom Krell on the ethereal track “Don’t Say No.”

See photos from Shlohmo’s Locavore DJ set at Amoeba Hollywood here.

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Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth In-Store Performance at Amoeba SF 4/12

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 4, 2012 06:50pm | Post a Comment
JUST ADDED: Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo is performing at Amoeba San Francisco on Thursday, April 12 at 6pm! He'll play songs from his new album, Between The Times And The Tides (out now on Matador Records).

Recorded with longstanding Sonic Youth producer John Agnello, Between The Times and The Tides is a shimmering and melodic tapestry of rock sounds. Ranaldo’s trademark alternate-tuning guitar work is at the forefront; it is amplified by brilliant guitar work from Wilco’s Nels Cline on almost every track. The all-star lineup also includes Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley on drums, Alan Licht on guitar, and John Medeski on keyboards. There are also cameos from former Sonic Youth cohorts, drummer Bob Bert and producer/instrumentalist Jim O’Rourke.

You can also see him later that night at Brick and Mortar.

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