Amoeblog

50 Essential Albums Released in 2012

Posted by Aaron Detroit, December 5, 2012 11:00am | Post a Comment

Aaron Detroit, Buyer at Amoeba Hollywood. I've worked in Hollywood for eight years, but started my time with Amoeba - way back in 1998 -  at the San Francisco store. This is my extensive list of 2012 releases that I fell in love with or had serious affairs over the past 365 days. 2012, for me, was a surprising and amazing year in music. Nearly all 50 releases here could have been a Top-Ten contender almost any other year, and the Top Ten is full of records that could easily have been #1.



50 Essential Albums of 2012


1.  SCOTT WALKER Bish Bosch (4AD) 

The 6-year-long wait was well worth it, as is usually the case with Walker. This isn't the latest indie background music du jour - It's an Absurdist's symphony. Melody is eschewed for repetition, but you still walk away with the damned thing in your head. E-bows, machetes as percussion and disturbing (as well as amusing) scatological metaphors are some of the unlikely ingredients that make up this terrifying (and weirdly infectious) beauty. There's really nothing else like it, so enjoy figuring it out for the rest of your life.  






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Black Light District's Best Dark Music Albums of The '00's

Posted by Aaron Detroit, December 23, 2009 12:45pm | Post a Comment
Last week, I posted Black Light District's year-end best of list, which was a breeze to compile compared to reviewing the last 10 years for this week's post -- the 20 Best Dark Music Albums of The Decade. I had to whittle away many great titles, but I believe these records have proven to be or will prove to be dark classics for years to come. See ya next year, kids...

1. Coil – The Ape of Naples / The New Backwards (2005/08)


John Balance’s passing was one of the great tragedies in the music world this past decade. It was especially sad to see one of his greatest works be released posthumously. The recordings on The Ape of Naples and its (later-released) sister album, The New Backwards (collected together in the limited Ape of Naples LP box set), date back as far as 1993 when the band was briefly signed to Trent Reznor’s Nothing label, but went unfinished until 2004 when the group returned to the abandoned material for their new album. Gorgeous Funeral-Folk, third-eye electronics and captured transmissions from beyond The Threshold.

Black Light District's Top Dark Music Albums of 2009

Posted by Aaron Detroit, December 16, 2009 01:22pm | Post a Comment
Folks at Amoeba Hollywood like to refer to the area in the store where the Goth/Industrial and Metal Sections reside as the "Dark Corner."  Black Light District is sort of a virtual extension of The Dark Corner (as well as its former resident, the Experimental section), so the year end lists here reflect those flavors and also include those darker-leaning titles from the creepier nooks in the rock section. Next week, we'll examine the 20 best of the decade. Now without further adieu...2009's greatest from the darker realms....

1. Cold Cave - Love Comes Close (CD/LP) [Heartworm/Matador]

Love Comes Close is an infectious slab of 9 inspired dark-wave and synth-pop anthems. Cold Cave couldn't have timed their debut any better either, with synthpop bound for a big comeback with the release of BBC's stellar documentary Synth Britannia. Read my review of Love Comes Close from earlier this year here.

Listen: Cold Cave "Heaven Was Full"


piano magic is magic!

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 1, 2007 02:05pm | Post a Comment

I love Piano Magic. I know that I may throw that word "love" around a lot. But I would take back all the times I have used it, if I could use it just this one time. This band has been around for a bit over 10 years, but I only just discovered them maybe about 4 or 5 years ago. One of my friends, June, was obsessed with them. Since I like all the same music as him (Cocteau Twins/Lisa Germano/Red House Painters/This Mortal Coil/His Name Is Alive/etc.) I figured I would also love this band like he had. So my first introduction was "The Troubled Sleep of Piano Magic" back in 2003. I quickly discovered they were one of the bands that were made for people like me. I was excited for their next excellent album "Disaffected" in 2005. It is always exciting to discover a new band that has already been around for a while. It is like they somehow kept themselves hidden and their fans kept them a secret. Once you find about them, you want to keep them to yourself for a little bit. Until you just can't take it anymore and you to share them with everyone. When I always think I have already heard everything, it is nice to know there are still some great bands out there for me to discover. It's exciting.

They have just released their new album "Part Monster" on Important Records. They have  been on about 7 different labels and have had many different members. They are currently Glen Johnson, Jerome Tcherneyan, Alasdair Steer, Franck Alba and Cedric Pin. They are of course from England. They sort of fit into that ambient rock category. Dreamy and ethereal but still a rock band. Sad and emotional and all tragic. The vocalist sometimes reminds me of a mix of Jesus & Mary Chain and The Tindersticks. Sort of like what Slowdive sounded like as they were transitioning into Mojave 3. They also remind me a bit of bands like Field Mice but just with a little Black Heart Procession. That is enough band comparisons. They are just awesome and do sort of have their unique little sound.

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