Amoeblog

Kell's Best of 2013: A Year of Sounds and Feels

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, December 29, 2013 04:20pm | Post a Comment
2013 was a pretty great year for music and nothing quite cures that "where did the time go?" feeling like recollecting a year's worth of music enjoyment with conclusive consideration and whittling it down to a year-end list of bests. For putting together this here post I decided to drag out all the records I bought since last Christmas, spread them out on the floor like tarot cards, and listen to each of them one by one, like this: 

listening to music records cat gif aristocats disney

And then write about them, like this:
the office typing temp ryan michael scott steve carell i fucking love this show gif
The rub was trying to keep my list trim and fit thus accompanying my select "bests" are other titles I've enjoyed within the last twelve months. Happy New Year everyone! Peep my Best of 2013 on the downhill scroll...

little wings last best album 2013 rad records marriage records kyle field double LP sandy babe sunburned eyes

Little Wings
- LAST
(RAD Records)

LAST comes first not just because I'm a longtime avid supporter of Kyle Field as an artist and musician, but it just so happens that LAST was one of the very first new records I bought in 2013. LAST is one of those "total package" records about which I could spin infinite yarns of praise n' things regarding the songwriting, the recording, the artwork, and total overall vibe and I kind of already did that in the interview piece I put together last Spring and so I urge anyone interested in this two-fer plate of odd hip-hop with a lotta folk-rockin' goin' on to check it out as it'd be redundant to put further shine on this diamond.

Album Picks: Best Coast, Omar Souleyman, Black Hearted Brother

Posted by Billy Gil, October 22, 2013 10:56am | Post a Comment

Best Coast - Fade Away (CD, LP or Download)

best coast fade away lpBest Coast's new EP marks a confident start to a new era for the band. Their previous album, The Only Place, featured more mature songwriting as Bethany Cosentino grew more confident in her voice, yet Jon Brion's smooth production didn't always jibe well with Cosentino's rough around the edges approach to confessional pop. The first release on her own label, Jewel City, Fade Away takes back some of the reverb and distortion of her early material but keeps the assurance she displayed on The Only Place. The result plays out as the most refined version of Best Coast yet. Cosentino sounds pissed in opener "This Lonely Morning," a rocker about a dude who won't stick around. "I Wanna Know" is one of her best girl-group jams yet, all desperation buried beneath sunshine and "Be My Baby" drums. Several songs take on quarter-life crises ("Who Have I Become," "Fear of My Identity"), while her heartbreak songs are equally riddled with introspection, as on the great Mazzy Star-ish ballad "Baby I'm Crying." One of Cosentino's best tricks is sneaking existential dilemmas into songs and lyrics that are on the surface straightforward and simple. By the end of the seven-song Fade Away, you're emotionally exhausted, as Cosentino gives it her all throughout. With Fade Away, she's given fans more than just a stopgap release, and one that leaves fans hungry for what's next.

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3 Leafs & A Syrian Wedding Singer: Live!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, May 31, 2012 12:09am | Post a Comment
omar souleyman mezzanine 3 leafs san francisco psychedelic prog rock band syrian wedding rave leh jani party

It's been almost a year since I first experienced the magic of Omar Souleyman's Syrian wedding party zone stylings, a right sweaty body-rockin' that I'd thankfully pay good money to re-live any day. As luck would have it the time is nigh! Souleyman once again takes the stage at the Mezzanine in San Francisco this coming Friday night and this time SF's very own warlocks of guru-level womb-rock, 3 Leafs, will be opening up this can of intergalactic whoop-ass. Get your tickets here and don't forget to get up, and get down down down...shoulders out. Need a visual? Feast your eyes:
 
 

Omar Souleyman At The Echo 7/12/11

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, July 18, 2011 07:45am | Post a Comment
Omar Souleyman at The EchoWhen I heard Omar Souleyman was playing in Los Angeles, I knew I had to go. Not only do I love his music but also how many times do you have a chance to see anyone from Syria perform in the U.S.? All those who cry about what a disappointment the Obama administration is can thank their liberal visa policies towards international artists. Do you know how many artists’ visas were denied during the Bush administration, especially if they’re from a country deemed a threat to the U.S.? 

Truth be told, there are many places you can hear music like Omar Souleyman across the Los Angeles area. In various Arabic restaurants in Glendale, Alhambra and the West Hollywood you can find someone like Souleyman’s collaborator Rizan Sa'id on a couple of keyboards playing behind a group of belly dancers or at a wedding reception. However, comparing Souleyman to those restaurant musicians is the equivalent of comparing Junior Kimbrough to some hack wearing a fedora playing slick Chicago-style blues. Sure, they both play blues music, but with Kimbrough, you felt the blues.

I had a feeling what an Omar Souleyman audience would look like: The hipster boys who travel to places like Indonesia and buy cassettes of local artists with their ambiguously ethic girlfriends? Check! Arabic people, mostly Syrian nationals, checking out a guy from their home country? Check! The “way too cool” musicians and deejays, who never say anything to you even though you see them everywhere you go? Check! Aging hipsters, still on the brink of discovering something new? Check! Ok, we can proceed.

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Bjork beach-readies her Biophilia summer jam!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, June 21, 2011 04:45pm | Post a Comment
bjork biophilia beach omar souleyman crystalline single remix
Though an official release date has yet to be confirmed for Bjork's upcoming "meditation on the relationship between music, nature and technology" a.k.a. Biophilia, anticipation builds for the eventual drop as teasers trickle out via iPad apps and YouTube vignettes like this latest emergence featuring Omar Souleyman and co. in the studio remixing "Crystalline" --- the assumed lead single from the album and just-add-tanlines summer jam. This record cannot come out too soon with "Crystalline" in its entirety promised by the end of June and a live debut of Biophilia during a specially conceived three week residency at the Manchester International Music Festival
 
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