Amoeblog

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

Mykki Blanco Amps Anticipation For Debut With Stunning Visual For Lead Track "High School Never Ends (feat. Woodkid)"

Posted by Billyjam, May 18, 2016 03:43pm | Post a Comment

Mykki Blanco "High School Never Ends (feat. Woodkid)" (2016)


This week the always amazing artist Mykki Blanco unveiled the video piece for the track "High School Never Ends (feat. Woodkid)"  off the artist's anticipated upcoming debut album release this summer. Directed by Matt Lambert  the video showcases the uniquely talented, all encompassing artist who effortlessly embraces various mediums.  "No one has seen this side of Mykki Blanco yet, and though The Mykki of "High School Never Ends' is a character, it is the closest to who I actually am and I felt a trust in director Matt Lambert to portray this," said the diversely talented 30 year old artist born Michael David Quattlebaum Jr.  Musician, activist, performance artist and experimentalist are among the descriptions given Mykki Blanco back when the artist was first profiled on the Amoeblog  in October 2014. Entitled Mykki Blanco's Gay Dog Food, the piece profiled the Gay Dog Food mix-tape project that was about to drop later that month. That album included such other artists as Cities Aviv and Riot Grrrl Kathleen Hanna whom Blanco cited, along with such others as GG Allin and Lil Kim,  as a major musical influence.  That previous Amoeblog, which included Blanco's 2012 music video for "Wavvy," also noted how his anticipated official debut album Michael would be released in the following Spring of 2015 release. That didn't happen but the anticipated album is finally coming this summer. The video above was shot in Germany, where Blanco's lived for the past four years, is described as story about outsiders and forbidden love, a "tableaux of love and sexuality explored amid a landscape of migration and community in crisis."

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50 Essential Albums Released in 2014

Posted by Aaron Detroit, December 5, 2014 09:20am | Post a Comment

Aaron Detroit, Buyer at Amoeba Hollywood. I've worked in Hollywood for ten years, but started my time with Amoeba - way back in 1998 -  at the San Francisco store. Here is my extensive list of new essential listening, released in 2014. There is a wide range of genres and artists represented here because musical passion should not be static.





1. Swans - To Be Kind (Young God)
To Be Kind, Swans’ 3rd LP since their 2010 reformation (and 13th overall,) is an unlikely triumph after 2012’s seemingly unmatchable masterpiece, The Seer. Any trepidation one might have about the sprawling triple-LP’s intimidating track lengths should evaporate under it’s hypnotizing ebb-and-flow of mental blues, super-honed grooves, manic clatter and hushed passages; all of which are eventually crushed by monolithic waves of majesty. Nothing short of classic.



 2. Carla Bozulich - Boy (Constellation)
Boy is Carla Bozulich’s (of Ethyl Meatplow, Geraldine Fibbers and Evangelista-renown) 3rd solo affair, but in a lot of ways it feels like her first. Bozulich pours her famed, devastating whiskey-voice into a cocktail of funeral country, death blues and industrial noise that sticks to your guts. Carla herself refers to this LP as her “pop record,” and if that's a true description, we could sure use a whole lot more “pop” albums like Boy. Don’t overlook this one.

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Mykki Blanco's 'Gay Dog Food'

Posted by Billyjam, October 14, 2014 10:14am | Post a Comment

The talented, unique, and often provocative NY hip-hop artist Mykki Blanco transcends simple definition and is a lot more than an emcee or "a gay rapper" as Blanco is so often labeled.  More descriptively accurate is the artist's own self-definition of being a musician, an activist, a performance artist, and experimentalist. Hence why the artist's forthcoming new 14 track project Gay Dog Food (to arrive in Amoeba on Oct. 28 via UNO NYC - his third release for the label) encompasses all aspects of the multifaceted individual that is Mykki Blanco. Gay Dog Food, which precedes Blanco's anticipated official debut album Michael by several months (slated for a Spring 2015 release), is an ambitious project that was recorded in studios in Eastern Russia, London, Berlin, and New York City and is a most diverse recording that goes way beyond the restrains of hip-hop to encompass such other genres as punk, noise, experimental, industrial, and Riot Grrrl.

Riot Grrrl Kathleen Hanna, whom Blanco counts as a major musical influence, collaborates on the album track "A Moment With Kathleen" for a spoken word collage. Other project collaborators include Chicago MC Katie Got Bandz, and Cities Aviv while producers include Sasha DZA, and Supreme Cuts. "You can choose to call me a gay rapper," said Mykki Blanco of himself in a prepared statement sent out today to announce the new release and who he is an (often misunderstood) artist. "I'm a punk, a creative punk and I'm going to continue to create and entertain without boundaries. Gay Dog Food is just the start of where I hope to go creatively and commercially, this moment now is really the beginning."  Look for Gay Dog Food in Amoeba on October 28th. Meantime peep a preview of the album track Mykki Blanco "Moshin' In The Front (feat. Cities Aviv)" via Soundcloud. Below is the video for Blanco's 2012 track "Wavvy."

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50 Essential Albums Released in 2013

Posted by Aaron Detroit, November 30, 2013 02:45pm | Post a Comment

Aaron Detroit, Buyer at Amoeba Hollywood. I've worked in Hollywood for nine years, but started my time with Amoeba - way back in 1998 -  at the San Francisco store. Here is my extensive list of new essential listening, released in 2013. There is a wide range of genres and artists represented here because musical passion shouldn't be static!

1. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual
The Knife Shaking the Habitual    


After a seven-year hiatus (not including 2010’s collaborative opera with Matt Sims and Planningtorock,) the Swedish sister/brother duo crafted something utterly singular with this sprawling, conceptual, yet immensely thrilling triple-LP. Habitual lyrically challenges gender constructs and unchecked privilege against visceral (and sometimes monstrous) techno that also refuses any box you throw over it. 

 

These New Puritans Field of Reeds



2. These New Puritans - Field of Reeds
   
 No guitars, no dubstep breaks, no angular post-punk posturing. Jack Barnett & Co. look to 20th century composers and Fado for inspiration on their third LP. Woodwinds, brass, field recordings, a magnetic resonator piano and additional vocals from Portuguese vocalist Elisa Rodrigues move TNP into a whole other category of artist, far away from the faceless NME hordes they once mingled with. 
 
3. David Bowie - The Next Day
 
 David Bowie The Next DayQuite honestly, it’s his best since his last great LP --33 years ago--Scary Monsters. This isn’t anything but Bowie being himself, but the emotional weight of his lyrics give the new tracks a vitality missing from much of his work in the previous decade. It’s exhilarating throughout, with most of his famous tropes (Space!!) sounding somehow fresh. New classics like the title track, “Dirty Boys,” the Scott Walker-nodding “Heat,” plus the stellar Bowie-doing-Morrissey-doing-his-best-Bowie moment on “You Feel So Lonely You Could Die.” 
 

Holden The Inheritors

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