Amoeblog

14 Indie Rock Records That Would Make a Great Gift

Posted by Billy Gil, December 15, 2014 12:11pm | Post a Comment

Gift Ideas Indie Rock

There have been tons of records released under the nebulous indie rock genre this year that find new things to say within the confines of rock 'n' roll (The War on Drugs), or throw out the rules while still remaining pleasing to listen to (Ariel Pink). Here are 14 widely appealing records from this year that would make a great gift for just about any indie rock fan. 

the war on drugs





 

The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream

The War on Drugs’ dreamy country-rock music evokes slow motion, even as its songs move at a sprightly pace. The driving rhythm behind "Under the Pressure" is caked in heavily reverbed guitars and washes of synthesizer, even as real-life guitar solos and Adam Granduciel's vocals come through more clearly than ever before. Similarly "Red Eyes" is like some lost '80s collaboration between The Highwaymen and The Cure, effusing brilliant colors with its bright synths and yelping vocals, but the most stunning moment comes in the minute or so in the middle of the songs when a third of the sound is stripped away, leaving a gorgeous, introspective bridge before Granduciel's yelp brings everything crashing back, while the rhythm stays insistent as always. Lost in the Dream invites repeat listens—atmospheric pieces like "The Haunting Idle" keep things spacious, yet the band comes back for the Bruce Springsteen-vibing "Burning" in the albums latter half. As its title would suggest, it's an album to get lost in. It feels like seeing the entire open road ahead of you, coasting yet seemingly to move in place while the sun sets and middle-of-nowhere stations play Bruce and Tom Petty in the background.

Amoeba SF's Best In-Store Shows of 2014

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 14, 2014 05:28pm | Post a Comment

By Brent James, Amoeba SF Event Coordinator

When I took over the position of Event Coordinator for the San Francisco Amoeba store, of course I was more than thrilled to be able to work alongside many artists in the music business that i've admired for so many years. I was ecstatic to help promote and produce the amazing live shows that have become synonymous with Amoeba Music. Most of all, however, I was excited to discover new artists and acts. Things that otherwise might pass me by in the normal course of a day! The following list is compiled of the performances this year that most stood out to me. Sure, I was aware of a few of them, but for the most part I walked away from these shows with a fresh perspective of what they're trying to say and as a new fan. I'm already looking forward to writing this list next year...Cheers!


5. STRAND OF OAKS, Saturday August 30, 2014
At this very early-in-the-tour performance, SOA performed songs from their album Heal. The crowd watched with admiration as Tim Showalter and company preached with songs that were reminiscent of early Bob Seger or even Springsteen. Perfect show for a beautiful Saturday!

Strand of Oaks

4. THE DRUMS, Friday October 4, 2014
One of those days where we suddenly have a crowd of 400 screaming teenagers pogo dancing to their electronic idols! They knew all the words, they had all the records. Solid touring band, but the kids were there to see Jonny and Jacob and were NOT disappointed! The Drums worked the crowd into a frenzy and left them wanting more. Check out their newest LP, Encyclopedia.

Continue reading...

my top 50 albums of 2014...

Posted by Brad Schelden, December 11, 2014 09:30am | Post a Comment

douglas dare#1 Douglas Dare - Whelm (Erased Tapes)
There are always a couple of albums like this every year. And I always just patiently wait for them. I just never know where they are gonna come from. I loved this album after the first listen. This album would clearly end up on the top of my most listened to albums of the year. Which naturally makes it my favorite. It is one of those albums that I prefer to listen to by myself since I am never sure if anyone is gonna like it as much as I do. Your favorite albums are the ones you keep going back to. The ones you want to start over as soon as they end. This is that album for me. An album I will always have close to my heart. This album is basically just Douglas stripped down bare with his songs and his piano. It is beautiful and heartbreaking. A fantastic debut album.



mac demarco#2 Mac DeMarco - Salad Days (Captured Tracks)
Mac DeMarco's second album was one of my favorites of 2012. Here he is again with his fantastic third album. I am still not exactly sure why I can't stop loving this dude. I actually will forget how much I love him until I go and put on his albums again and then fall in love all over again. This new album is another perfect mellow pop album. Perfect for a lazy day. It gets under your skin and becomes part of you. There is just no denying the talent of this dude. I can't help but feeling sometimes that he has somehow tricked my into liking him. You seriously can't help but love this album. There is nothing upbeat about this album. However it still manages to make me so happy every time I listen to it.

Continue reading...

PST's 50 Best Albums of 2014

Posted by Billy Gil, December 5, 2014 02:48pm | Post a Comment

50 Best Albums of 2014

This is how it always works: You think, how am I going to find 50 albums I really liked this year? Then by the end of compiling these things, you’re leaving off records you really liked and realizing that this year didn’t suck so badly after all! Here are the 50 albums I honestly felt were the most well-made, original or enjoyable this year. Check out Aaron Detroit’s list, too, for even more good shit from 2014.

 

1. Sun Kil MoonBenji

sun kil moon benji lpAmid the wrongheaded War on Drugs bashing and indulgent songwriting/self-mythologizing that came with it, it could be easy to forget the brilliance of Benji. But Mark Kozelek’s later-career renaissance reaches its apex on Benji. Whereas songs in his ’90s project Red House Painters were often autobiographical, if morose and romantic, if, to call Benji “confessional” would be an understatement. Not only is it a classic example oversharing in the social media age, it’s just a new classic period, the best thing he’s done since RHP’s heyday. Two songs directly address Kozelek’s love for his aging parents as he himself hits middle age (“I Can’t Live Without My Mother’s Love” and “I Love My Dad” are far from ironic, though they cover ground beyond what their titles suggest). “Dogs” covers Kozelek’s history with women in sometimes excruciating detail, from his first kiss at 5 to getting bathed by two women. Part of what makes Benji so masterful is how Kozelek blends rich physical details, with references to Panera Bread and Pink Floyd records, along with impressionistic accounts, such as his atmospheric telling of what caught his attention in a Led Zeppelin film (“I Watched the Film the Song Remains the Same”) and what that says about him as a person. It can be a lot to take in at once—“Micheline” at first feels like a diary dump, though it ends on a touching note about his grandmother—but most of the time, the details are funny or poignant or both, coming through clearly with little more than Kozelek’s wavering, creaking voice and reverbed acoustic guitar. “Ben’s My Friend,” which ends the album with its catchiest song (and curiosity value, due to its titular subject being Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie), is a sterling reminder of how many little things add up to the sum of our lives, making a pretty refrain out of “blue crab cakes,” throwing in some horns and flamenco guitar for good measure and tying the album up nicely with a reflective bow. Kozelek may be a cranky old man, but his lifetime of experiences made for enrapturing listening on Benji, which simply has the best songwriting of any music release this year.

Continue reading...

Recap: November Charity Auction to Benefit Smile Train at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Amoebite, November 3, 2014 12:08pm | Post a Comment

Jimmy Pardo at Amoeba Hollywood

On Saturday, November 1 we had an amazing charity auction at Amoeba Hollywood featuring a repeat appearance by comedian Jimmy Pardo as our illustrious guest auctioneer! We were raising funds for Smile Train, an organization that provides free cleft repair surgeries to those in need while helping to train local doctors. This makes it possible for a child born with cleft to eat, breathe, speak properly, and smile.

Smile Train logo

Jimmy Pardo is host of the top-rated podcast "Never Not Funny," and a recurring guest on Conan and Comedy Bang Bang. He has his own half-hour "Comedy Central Presents" special and has recorded three comedy albums: Uno, Pompous Clown and 2013’s Sprezzatura, which Entertainment Weekly named one of the 5 Best Stand-Up Albums of the year.

Jimmy did a bang-up job as usual, making people giggle and guffaw while driving the bids to new levels. His timing is impeccable and his one-liners irresistible. The crowd was way into it, and the folks showed up with their wallets and pocketbooks open. And when they weren't quite open enough, he helped pry them open with quippity quips. It was a really great time.

Highlights of some of the items on the auction block:

  • Tickets to see Yo Gabba Gabba! at Shrine Auditorium Nov. 22 + kids fun pack - $35.00
  • Beatles pack with lithos, t-shirt, mugs & more - $30.00
  • 2 pairs of VIP tickets to a Conan O'Brien taping - $60 each
  • Led Zeppelin pack - $65.00!!
  • Primus & the Chocolate Factory pack  ("just in time for HALLOWEEN") $40
  • Tickets to Mike Birbiglia at the Wilshire Ebell Theater Dec. 6 - $90.00!!
  • Tickets to Mac DeMarco at the Fonda Nov. 10th - $40.00
  • VIP in-store front of the line pass - $40.00
  • $50 Trader Joe’s gift card + vintage lunchbox - $70.00
  • $50 Urban Outfitters gift card + a limited edition One Direction picture disc - $50.00
  • Jimmy Pardo's own Mystery Box of handpicked CDs - $60.00
  • Dog lover’s gift basket featuring a $25 gift card to Tailwaggers pet store, toys & treats - $15.00
  • Amoeba coffee mug with coffee cards - $35.00
  • Random bag of promo t-shirts - $45.00
  • Michael Jackson transfers - $6.00
  • Bob Marley poster with button pack and postcard - $10.00

Amoeba Hollywood Charity Auction prizes

<<  1  2  3  >>  NEXT