Father John Misty’s fearless second record builds on his folk-rock sound with orchestral touches, genre diversions and direct, conversational lyrics that cut through singer/songwriter clichÃ©s. The title track introduces Beatlesesque melodies and weeping steel guitar to prepare you for the scope of the record. J. Tillman starts going into crooner mode with the spectacular “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins),” his crushed-velvet vocals singing over a sweeping, country-symphonic arrangement, but his lyrics nicely keep the romanticism from getting too gooey (“I wanna take you in the kitchen/Lift up your wedding dress someone was probably murdered in”). “True Affection” takes a sharp turn into MIDI-electro-dream-pop, with some Fleet Foxes-style harmonies keeping things grounded in Tillman’s wheelhouse. “The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apartment” takes another turn, this time into Velvets-third-album twinkling indie pop, while Tillman calls out an airheaded groupie (“She says like, literally, music is the air she breathes,” he sings hilariously). Tillman’s lyrics work so well because of their specificity—you feel like you’re watching him break hearts at a local bar when he sings “Why the long face? Blondie, I’m already taken,” over a sultry Southern sway on “Nothing Good Ever Happens At The Goddamn Thirsty Crow.” Such subject matter could read as self-serving, if not for the album’s more self-effacing tracks, like “The Ideal Husband,” in which Tillman admits various wrongdoings, petty or otherwise, over nervy rock ‘n’ roll; or “Bored in the USA,” a piano ballad that seems to mock Tillman’s own first-world problems of alienation and dullness (“Save me, white Jesus!” is an awesomely cutting exclamation). Tillman’s refusal to do anything in a typical way while still keeping the music highly polished helps I Love You, Honeybear to never feel indulgent. Rather, it’s an extraordinarily giving album, as Tillman’s honesty and strength as a songwriter and performer has grown immeasurably. It’s easily one of the best albums of the year thus far.
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.
This week's Weekly Wednesday Steal is a special one.
In honor of Halloween this week, we'll be selling two Halloween downloads for a total of $10. Each download is $5.
Halloween Goth Party answers all your gothy Halloween party needs with one album, featuring the dark delights of Nico, Lydia Lunch, Alien Sex Fiend, The MIssion, Danse Society and more. If your taste leans more toward punk, we've got Halloween Punk Party, with the likes of Dead Kennedys, Batmobile, U.K Subs and more.
Each download is $5. Get your punky goth Halloween party mix together with Amoeba!
A bit about our Weekly Steal: A new item is featured on Amoeba.com every Wednesday for $10, while supplies last. It's limited to one per customer, and the deal is only available on the website. As always, there’s free shipping on all music and movies you buy on Amoeba.com throughout the United States.
Check out pictures of punk and hardcore greats like The Germs, Black Flag and Dead Kennedys at IDLE WORSHIP: The Photography of Edward Colver at Lethal Amounts in Downtown L.A. from Sept. 20 through Nov. 22. Opening night is at 8 p.m. Sept. 20. Amoeba is proud to be a sponsor of this event.
Photographer Edward Colver captured emerging subcultures of the late ’70s and early ’80s in L.A., documenting every show he attended from 1978 to 1984 and photographing luminaries from movements such as hardcore, death rock, thrash, new wave, industrial, skate punk and more. His photos cover the aforementioned artists plus such bands as Christian Death, The Cramps, Circle Jerks, Youth Brigade, The Mentors, Lydia Lunch, Fear, Nick Cave, Siouxsie & the Banshees, PIL, Motorhead and more. His work has been shown at galleries and museums around the globe to the point that Colver is considered one of the premier punk photographers.
Legendary L.A. punks X will play their first four albums, each in their entirety, at four separate shows in July at L.A.'s The Roxy.
First up is Los Angeles, the band's landmark 1980 debut. The band will play the album start-to-finish July 10, the Los Angeles Times reports. After that, the band will play Wild Gift July 11, Under the Big Black Sun July 12 and More Fun in the New World July 13.
Tickets to each show will be available starting at 10 a.m. on May 30. Tickets for the Los Angeles show can be found here, and/or pick up tickets for the Wild Gift, Under the Big Black Sun and More Fun in the New World shows.
Tickets are $35 a piece. The shows are expected to be about an hour long, and they start at 8 p.m.