Amoeblog

The 10 Best Reunions of the 2000s

Posted by Billy Gil, January 7, 2014 01:44pm | Post a Comment

Since Stephen Malkmus ditched the likely lucrative reunion of his legendary band Pavement to continue on with his Jicks project, which released their great album Wig Out at Jagbags this week, I thought it a good time to look back at the band reunions that have popped up this new millennium. Though these reunions have both delighted and horrified fans, sometimes at the same time, a few have been so solid that it’s like our favorite bands never left us. Now get on it, Cocteau Twins!

1. Dinosaur Jr.

dinosaur jr. amoebaDinosaur Jr. frontman J Mascis and bassist/Sebadoh frontman Lou Barlow buried the hatchet in the 2000s, formally reuniting with longtime drummer Murph in 2005 to play on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson and tour. They subsequently have released three terrific albums. If you were a fan of Dinosaur Jr. but haven’t checked out any of the albums from Dino. Jr. 2.0 (gross), do it now, as they’re as good as anything the band released during its heyday. 2012’s I Bet on Sky featured the kind of more chilled-out (yet still distortion-laden) songwriting you might expect from alt-rock elder statesmen, while 2007’s Beyond felt like lighting a match in a room full of gas, exploding with bottled up riffs and energy. Lou Barlow, whose own Sebadoh reunion also ranks as one of the better ones of the 2000s, makes his first contributions to the songwriting on these albums since 1987’s You’re Living All Over Me, and the band is better for it. Combined with their live shows, which are lessons in ear-splitting noise only bested by the next band on this list, it makes them the best reunited band of the new millennium!

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Album Picks: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Banks, Patrick Cowley

Posted by Billy Gil, January 7, 2014 11:02am | Post a Comment

Stephen Malkmus & The JicksWig Out at Jagbags (CD or LP)

stephen malkmus the jicks wig out at jagbags amoebaAmid all the reunions of ’90s bands, Pavement’s was an anomaly—no new material, just some shows, a best-of release and then kaput, all within the year 2010. That’s perhaps a good thing, since it gives people a chance to focus on frontman Stephen Malkamus’ work both solo and with the Jicks, which has been largely excellent—and underrated. Wig Out at Jagbags finds Malkamus and co. loose and having fun, but still writing solid songs that stick. After a couple of jammy numbers, the album picks up with the poppy “Lariat,” which funnily seems to call out Malkmus’ own fan base (“we grew up listening to music from the best decade ever!” he sings at the conclusion). Alt-rock revivalism gives way to a piano-led rock ballad on “Houston Hades.” “Rumble at the Rainbo” finds the band poking fun at its own elder status within the underground community—“come and join us in this punk rock tune/come slam dancing with some ancient dudes,” Malkamus sings. The more improvy numbers might lose some people, even if relistening to Pavement finds as much emphasis on exploration as melody, but they always come back with a catchy tune—“Chartjunk” features horns and Malkamus playing a not-jokey guitar solo, and seeming to enjoying every minute of it; “Independence Street” is a Velvets-esque, dry ballad; and “Surreal Teenagers” closes the album on an energetic high. With an album as fun to listen to as Wig Out at Jagbags, we’ll let Malkamus close the book on Pavement and move into a new era.

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Parquet Courts' Andrew Savage Talks Hype, EPs and 2014

Posted by Billy Gil, December 19, 2013 11:33am | Post a Comment

parquet courts amoebaParquet Courts had a very good 2013. Their debut album, Light Up Gold, was re-released on What’s Your Rupture? to rapturous acclaim, and their live shows have become somewhat legendary. Live and on record, the band flaunts a defiantly youthful energy that resuscitates classic indie rock tropes and perfectly captured mid-20s bohemia. Late in the year, they released the great Tally All the Things That You Broke EP (which I called one of the best EPs of 2013), finding the band honing its sound and growing wilder, even funkier as Andrew Savage’s vocals are more confident and strident, sing-talking and even sort of rapping, while the band tosses out knotty, catchy riffs with apparent ease. “The more you use it, the more it works!” Savage cries on one of Tally’s songs, as if echoing his own band’s tour-and-release-heavy year, which has clearly paid off.

The subject matter of the band’s songs is another matter. On its most famous song, Light Up Gold’s “Stoned and Starving,” the title says it all as Savage details a muchies-fueled trip through Ridgewood, Queens. But don’t call Parquet Courts “stoner rock” or “slacker rock” to Savage’s face.

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(Wherein I play with myself.)

Posted by Job O Brother, April 25, 2011 01:30pm | Post a Comment

vintage postcard

I’m a bachelor this week – so to speak. Emotionally I am in love and committed to the boyfriend, but as he is in the Great Country of Texas for the next week, I am functioning as single. As much as I miss him, I do get to indulge in certain activities I would otherwise not.

For starters, I can safely wear wife-beaters without incurring any catty remarks about my “smacking my girlfriend around” or needing to go out and “fix my bike”. I like to pair my wife-beaters with basketball shorts and hair un-brushed to the point where I look like a White Panther. A half-empty bottle of Bud Light would really complete the look, but I’m no fashion sheep.

bud light
On the runways of Paris this summer.

Speaking of alcohol, when alone I get to drink wine my most favorite way: straight from the bottle. It looks awful. It looks trashy, debaucherous, and to outside eyes would seem like a red flag signaling the starting race towards alcoholism – but I don’t drink any more from a bottle than I would a glass, plus this way I get so much more oxygen with each sip, thus facilitating a burst of flavor and heightening all the complexities and subtle nuances a bottle of Charles Shaw has to offer. Also, it’s one less glass to wash, which means it’s greener. Drinking wine straight from the bottle helps trees and future generations of children!

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Matador Turns 21 in Vegas! Starring Pavement, Sonic Youth and more!

Posted by Miss Ess, July 8, 2010 02:54pm | Post a Comment
Why wait for a perfectly round-numbered anniversary when you can bring together a line-up as commanding as only Matador can?

To celebrate the trusty indie rock label's 21st anniversary, a host of cooler than thou, kick ass artists will come together to rock in the glittering lights of Las Vegas this Oct 1-3 at the Palms!

matador lost weekend

Heavy stuff, no?

Answers to pretty much every question ringing through your over-stimulated mind, including when tickets go on sale, are available here.
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