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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: Parquet Courts, Tim Hecker, Woods

Posted by Billy Gil, April 8, 2016 11:25am | Post a Comment

Parquet CourtsHuman Performance

parquet courts human performance lp“Dust is everywhere — SWEEP!” So goes the refrain of the first single off N.Y. indie-rock heroes Parquet Courts’ new album. Human Performance seems less concerned with proving anything to anyone than ever, yet finds the band settling into itself nicely and coming up with some of its most weirdly catchy songs. Since releasing the excellent Light up Gold in 2013, the band has fallen into a certain lineage of brainy New York indie rock of yore, from Talking Heads and Television through Sonic Youth and the Beastie Boys. Then came Sunbathing Animal, the thorny but ultimately winning follow-up, along with assorted albums and EPs that saw them trying on various guises, with the results thrillingly mercurial but hit-or-miss as far as listening goes. Now, on songs like the Velvet Underground-ish title track; short, rhythmically clever tunes like “Outside” and “I Was Just Here”; and shoutalong slacker anthems like “Paraphrased”; and verbose Nuggets jams like "Berlin Got Blurry," Parquet Courts sound comfortable yet energized, mature but real in their embrace of the surreal and off-kilter. As it’s been somewhat both exhilarating and maddening to watch them over the past couple of years, Human Performance is that redemptive album that shows keeping an eye on Parquet Courts is well worth your time. Their best yet. Read my interview with the band a couple of years back, and check out their episode of “What’s In My Bag?” below, along with the video for “Berlin Got Blurry.”

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20 Albums to Look for in Spring

Posted by Billy Gil, March 8, 2016 11:47am | Post a Comment

20 albums to look for in spring

 

Hey! It’s almost spring. That means a ton of great albums are on the way. Check out this list of 20 that we’re looking forward to.

The Joy FormidableHitch
Out March 25

joy formidable hitch lpThe alt-rock trio’s third album was recorded in the band’s native Wales. Check out the fun video for “The Last Thing on my Mind” below, which flips the tables on the female objectification. (It’s kinda NSFW.)










Bob MouldPatch the Sky
Out March 25

bob mould patch the sky lpThe former lead singer of Husker Du and Sugar’s latest album is a “triumph of opposing forces and properties” from “the master of balancing personal darkness with melodic brightness,” according to a press release. Watch the video for the introspective “Voices in My Head” below.

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Noise Pop 2016: Feb. 19 - 28

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 24, 2016 04:48pm | Post a Comment

Noise Pop 2016

Noise Pop, the Bay Area’s premiere indie music and arts festival, returns for its 24th year with events all over San Francisco and Oakland, February 19 - 28!

This year's line-up includes live shows from Kamasi Washington (2/25, Independent), Parquet Courts (2/26, The New Parish), Drive Like Jehu (2/26, Independent), Carly Rae Jepsen (2/27, The Warfield), Vince Staples (2/27, Independent), and so many more. The film portion of the festival also promises to be amazing with screenings of six films at SF's Roxie Theater, including hip-hop documentary Hustlers Convention (1/19) and a look into LA punk rock band The Skulls with Who Is Billy Bones (1/21).

Check out the full schedule of events and more HERE, where you can also get individual tickets, General Music Badges, Super Fan Badges, Music & Film Badges, and Film Series Badges.

Enter to win a pair of festival passes HERE! Contest ends February 13th.

And speaking of Kamasi Washington, here's the time he dropped by Amoeba Hollywood:

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Album Picks: Ata Kak, Purity Ring, Moon Duo, Swervedriver, Parquet Courts

Posted by Billy Gil, March 3, 2015 09:08am | Post a Comment

Ata KakObaa Sima

ata kak obaa sima lpGhanaian highlife artist Ata Kak was brought to light through ethnomusicologist Brian Shimkovitz’s Awesome Tapes From Africa blog when he posted the unstoppable “Daa Nyinaa.” Shimkovitz bought the Ata Kak tape more than a decade ago and finally found him living in Ghana. Only 50 copies of the original Obaa Sima tape were made, and though the original master DAT had disintegrated, Shimkovitz’s tape was used to reissue Obaa Sima. Details of Shimkovitz’s search for Ata Kak could likely fill a book (in fact, a documentary is being made), but it only serves to give the truly awesome Obaa Sima even more allure, as does the tape hiss from the transfer. Its seven tracks offer nothing but good times, a non-stop party that sounds removed from time, full of delightfully rinky-dink synths, instant-play beats and Ata Kak’s motormouth rap. The slightly off-time nature of the backups on “Agdaya,” the louder than necessary mix of the vocals—all things that could be construed as negative instead feel like happy accidents that make Obaa Sima sound so singular. One track flows into another across Obaa Sima, coming into centerpiece “Daa Nyinaa,” an Afro-house masterpiece of warehouse-party cool. But stick around for the slightly sinister “Yemmpa Aba” and head-bobbing vocal-less closer “Bome Nnwon,” which will have you replaying the entire album once its final handclap echoes into silence. When Ata Kak is on, you won’t want to listen to anything else. If you need me, I’ll be watching this video on repeat:

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