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The Best Albums of 2016

Posted by Amoebite, December 19, 2016 03:01pm | Post a Comment

Best of 2016

With the holiday season fast approaching and 2016 drawing to an end, we decided to take a look back at some of our favorite releases for the year. Staff from all three of our stores --  in Hollywood, San Francisco, and Berkeley -- shared their picks for the year's best music and movies and told us a little about what made them so awesome. So hop in the Amoeba sleigh with us, won't you, as we go on a magical holiday journey through the early months of 2016 till now, adventuring from world music to rock 'n' roll and everything in between, savoring the most memorable works from some of our most beloved artists. (It might even give you a few swell ideas for record-shaped stocking stuffers.) 

Best of 2016 - rock

Anohni Hopelessness

ANOHNI - Hopelessness

I have been a fan of Anohni (formerly known as Antony & the Johnsons) for a long time now. She has another one of those distinctive voices that there is no confusing for someone else. Another great album produced by the amazing ANOHNI. The words in the songs are so full of emotion and power it is almost too much to handle sometimes. This album somehow feels like it is in the future. The songs are very set in the present. But the music really takes me to the future. Or at least makes me feel like we will be OK as long as we have ANOHNI to help guide us through the uncertain future. - Brad, Hollywood

Album Picks: Marissa Nadler, Methyl Ethel

Posted by Billy Gil, May 20, 2016 08:53am | Post a Comment

Marissa NadlerStrangers

marissa nadler strangers lpMarissa Nadler’s latest is one of her best yet, adding a little warmth to her haunting rendition of goth-Americana. Whether she’s playing vague with evocative line, as in “Divers of the Dust” (“the waves were screaming/city streets/you look out the window to see/seven lines of stunted trees”), or singing directly, as in “Katie I Know” (“it’s hard to know when to let go/cause I can bury this heart of mine”), Nadler’s words and voice cut deep. Musically, Strangers is a blend of old and new sounds, but the mixture works. “Hungry Is the Ghost” effuses spectral beauty, with slowcore guitars and swelling cosmic sounds, balancing out a song like “Skyscraper,” which is full of spare acoustics and medieval flutes. Though the feel is wintry as per her usual style, “All the Colours of the Dark” is actually one of the sweetest sounding songs Nadler has put to tape, full of genteel fingerpicking, Southern sounding strings and layered organ and piano. Wading through the album’s melancholia, which is pleasurable in its own way, it gives way to the sighing steel guitars of the title track, as well as perhaps her best song yet, “Janie in Love,” in which her swooping, birdsong voice calls out in shudder-inducing beauty, “you’re a natural disaster, and I am watching you blow up everything, you touch and the earth will crumble.” Though bleak, Nadler’s previous albums have never been short of stunning. This time, the music offers not just commiseration but light at the end of the tunnel.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Strand Of Oaks

Posted by Amoebite, May 26, 2015 05:07pm | Post a Comment

Strand Of Oaks

Strand Of Oaks is the brainchild of singer-songwriter/producer Timothy Showalter. The Philadelpia-based Strand of oaksmuscian crafts anthemic stadium ready choruses drawing inspiration from classic folk-rock while making his own unqiue brand of modern Americana. Now signed to the the Dead Oceans label, Showalter finds himself in great company with the likes of Akron/Family and Bishop Allen, to name a few. For his label debut, Showalter manages to take folk-based song ideas and turn them into rock gold. Pulling from personal life woes, Showalter uses his self pitty and pain of a failed marriage to create a well-produced record filled with classic pop characteristics. He's got big drums, big hooky choruses and just the right amount of distortion. Strand Of Oaks' HEAL is out now on LP and CD.  

Timothy recently visited Amoeba San Francisco and picked up some great albums. He first digs up a vinyl copy of Security by progressive rock icon Peter Gabriel. He follows that with Boston folk singer Marissa Nadler's July and Future Islands' In the Evening Air. A true fan of great songwriting, Timothy digs far and wide. He also picks up albums by Nick Cave and Kurt Vile and talks about some nostalgic music from his childhood. Watch the full What's In My Bag? episode below for all his awesome picks.

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My Promiscuous Cochlea: Everyone My Ear Took Home in 2014

Posted by Mark Beaver, January 8, 2015 05:33pm | Post a Comment


Vinyl isn't cheap, nor is is tawdry, so the collecting of it has become much more a matter of discernment than it used to be.

The following is a list, alphabetical, perchance by merit, of the vinyl (new titles and re-issues) that made the cut in 2014. It doesn't presume to be a "Best Of," as I am very aware of the peculiarities of my particular set of listening apparatuses. It is a list of the vinyl that my scattershot attention locked on to, brought home and allowed to bed down in the limited space that I allot for records in my home.


amen dunes love sacred bones





































AMEN DUNES
Love (Sacred Bones)

Folky, trippy, with that under-water production we've heard from the likes of KURT VILE, except where VILE is stoned and hanging with his buddies, AMEN DUNES' Damon McMahon is lost in a vast open space, deep in the mushroom and calling "Marco Polo" to the night sky. Stark and brittle while somehow managing to remain lush. I don't think I listened to any album of 2014 as often as I've listened to this.

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Album Picks: Xiu Xiu, Juan Wauters, Marissa Nadler

Posted by Billy Gil, February 4, 2014 10:00am | Post a Comment

Xiu XiuAngel Guts: Red Classroom (CD or LP)

xiu xiu angel guts: red classroomXiu Xiu’s best album in years harkens back to their darkest early days with an uncompromising sound. Trading in the pop tones of  his last couple of albums for a palette of grays and blacks, aided by harsh (in the best way) analog synths, Angel Guts gets Jamie Stewart back into his most confrontational mode, though there are still unmistakable pop hooks (something Stewart hasn’t quite ever gotten credit for) lurking beneath songs like “Stupid in the Dark.”

 

 

Juan Wauters N.A.P. North American Poetry (CD, LP or Download)

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