Show Recap: Failure at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, July 1, 2015 03:04pm | Post a Comment

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Failure fans withstood a hot, humid tropical drizzle outside of Amoeba Hollywood June 30 for the chance to see the band perform after a 17-year absence.

The alt-rock band reunited last year after breaking up in 1997 due to personal differences. In that time, Failure maintained a sizable cult, due in part to the band members maintaining a visible presence in musical projects such as Autolux, ON and Year of the Rabbit. With their “classic lineup” of Greg Edwards, Ken Andrews and Kellii Scott together again, the band has been successfully touring, playing all over the U.S. and Europe, and at festivals such as Desert Daze and Sunset Strip Music Festival.

failure the heart is a monster lpThe band chose to focus half of its set on its newly released fourth album, The Heart Is a Monster, which has been well-received by both fans and outlets such as Pitchfork. They started the show with that album’s opener, “Hot Traveler,” a highlight as the song moved from muscular riffs to a dreamier closing. The Amoeba show featured the live debut of two new songs from the album, “A.M. Amnesia” and “Otherwhere,” sneaking in classic “Another Space Song” from 1996’s Fantastic Planet in between.

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Show Recap: Death Cab For Cutie at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, April 1, 2015 04:02pm | Post a Comment

death cab for cutieDeath Cab For Cutie closed down the store at Amoeba Hollywood March 31 on the day of the release of their new album, Kintsugi.

Just before the band starts its tour in support of the album—and now without longtime guitarist and producer Chris Walla—the band could’ve been unsure of its footing. But they pretty much crushed it, starting with the album’s thumping opener “No Room in Frame.” “The Ghosts of Beverly Drive” saw the band pick up the energy while still employing moody guitarwork and ghostly effects to good measure.

death cab for cutie kintsugi lpBen Gibbard paused a moment to introduce new band members Dave Depper and Zac Rae (both on keys and guitars) before launching into the three-guitar “Little Wanderer.” It’s easy to forget what a great guitar band Death Cab can be, and honestly, the guitars threatened to overtake Gibbard’s star power on that song. But the song’s catchy chorus brings it all back, and Gibbard still stood center-stage on  “Black Sun,” shaking his head through the song’s biting lyrics amid dusty organ and languid guitarwork.

Death Cab at times could be thought of as more of a solid and enjoyable band than a dynamic one, but they’ve seemingly sought to incorporate more variety to their introverted indie-pop on recent releases as their audience has grown, and live, their skill at juggling different sounds is even more pronounced. On the cowboyish “El Dorado,” Gibbard’s voice rang clearly over a sturdy gallop and wallowing guitars, while “Everything’s a Ceiling” is closer to an ’80s prom ballad and had the crowd clapping along to its stuttering beat and glowing synths.

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Amoeba Co-Presents Madi Diaz at the Troubadour Dec. 8

Posted by Amoebite, November 18, 2014 01:15pm | Post a Comment

madi diaz troubadourmadi diaz phatom cdAmoeba is proud to present electro-pop singer/songwriter Madi Diaz live at the Troubadour in West Hollywood Dec. 8. The all-ages show is presented alongside Alt 98.7’s Close to Home. Buy tickets here.

Diaz is currently touring in support of her upbeat new album, Phantom, which was released Sept. 30. Featuring the heartfelt singalong “Stay Together,” Phantom is a sheer delight, full of driving, emotional pop songs. Don’t just take our word for it—according to KCRW, “Rarely has an album about being knocked down by life sounded so attractively catchy. ... Glossy production nicely shapes Diaz’ dance-music flecked songs, which throb with subterranean bass lines, ear-tickling refrains and her own genuine, no-frills vocals. ... A statement record that declares [Madi] as an artist of note.”

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Deerhoof Unveil Crazy 'Paradise Girls' Video, Kick Ass at the Troubadour

Posted by Billy Gil, November 18, 2014 11:25am | Post a Comment

deerhoof troubadourDeerhoof played a typically destructive set at the Troubadour in West Hollywood last night, starting off with tracks from their excellent new album, La Isla Bonita. Satomi Matsuzaki irrepressibly chanted to the cute “Paradise Girls” (“Girls…who play the bass guitar!”) and skronky “Last Fad” (“Baseball is cancelled!”) while John Dieterich and Ed Rodriguez braided sneaky guitar lines around her. “Exit Only” sounded a lot fiercer live, while drummer/madman Greg Saunier traded instruments with Matsuzaki for La Isla Bonita’s pulsating, chaotic closer, “Oh Bummer.” A well-selected sprinkling of older material meshed well with the newer stuff, from the crashing “Dummy Discards a Heart” (from Apple O’) to the thumping “Twin Killers” (from The Runners Four) and riff-stuffed “Fresh Born” (from Offend Maggie). Saunier’s drumming remains a barely contained tornado to which the rest of the band somehow hangs on; the band stays tight even when he flies off the rails, making everything exciting, unpredictable and yet always masterful. Matsuzaki let loose for insane closer “Come See the Duck” (from the Green Cosmos EP), goading the audience into an off-beat call-and-response of “Come! Come! Come see the duck!” and teasing us when we got it wrong. Who can guess how 12 albums and 20 years in, Deerhoof are as energetic and thrilling to experience as ever. If you’re in S.F., they’re at the American Music Hall tonight with Crystal Skulls and Go Dark. Don’t miss it.

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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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