Amoeblog

Album Picks: Hiatus Kaiyote, Alela Diane, Raw Geronimo

Posted by Billy Gil, July 30, 2013 10:51am | Post a Comment

Hiatus Kaiyote - Tawk Tomahawk

hiatus kaiyoteYou'd be forgiven for scratching your head upon first listen of Hiatus Kaiyote's Tawk Tomahawk. The Australian band doesn't really sound like anyone else, although there are signposts — the vocal swoops and glitched-out organic sounds of Bjork; the the otherworldly soul of Erykah Badu; the atmospherics and layering of Radiohead; and the psychedelic beatwork of J Dilla. Yet Hiatus Kaiyote take what could be a coiled mess of influences and stretch them into something unique and memorable on Tawk Tomahawk. Though things are largely pleasant and ethereal on songs like the stunning "Mobius Streak," frontwoman Nai Palm gets jazzy and raspy on "The World It Softly Lulls" and goes deep and dark on "Malika," while the beats get distorted and aggressive on "Ocelot." Lounges of the future may be spinning Tawk Tomahawk and calling it a classic of forward-thinking soul.

Hiatus Kaiyote Tawk Tomahawk CD $10.98

Hiatus Kaiyote Tawk Tomahawk LP $16.98 [out 9/17; preorder here]

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Show Recap: Raw Geronimo at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, July 26, 2013 05:40pm | Post a Comment

raw geronimo amoeba hollywoodL.A.'s Raw Geronimo began their July 25 set at Amoeba Hollywood with a stampede of drums as frontwoman Laena Geronimo cooed breathily over spacey guitar. That quickly ended as the bad went full bore into a heavy post-punk jam. Geronimo whipped her hair and flailed around between belting, eventually landing on the floor during the song's dreamy outro.

raw geronimo dream feverThe three-girl, three-guy band's next song roared right out of the gate, its two drummer set-up eliciting tribal moves and its other members offering B-52's style backups. For their next number, the guitarist played a looping Arabic riff while Geronimo intoned overhead, calling to mind Siouxsie and the Banshees circa "Arabian Nights."

Their next song had a dark surf jangle, highlighting a full-band assault of over Geronimo's theatrical presence, though her huge vocal swoops came in at exactly the right times, just as the band was letting loose. At no point did any of the six members seem to sit very still, but the band still made it seem effortless, clearly showing mastery as a live band — they casually changed out a keyboard when it malfunctioned, saying they had a backup. Geronimo's voice backed up for a moodier song, which was punctuated by Asiatic melodies. They turned it back up for a loud and jangly one and let out into a wild groove on the following song, probably the most intoxicating one on a purely musical basis. On their last song, single "Magnetic Love," they slowed down for a '50s style ballad made more powerful through huge drums and volcanic guitar work. It proved the band capable of whisking together various genres and eras of inspiration yet still coming out sounding like its own band.

See more photos from the show here. Pick up Dream Fever on LP now!

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Weekly Roundup: Earl Sweatshirt, Lawrence Rothman, Raw Geronimo and More

Posted by Billy Gil, July 18, 2013 03:27pm | Post a Comment

Lots of new videos this week!

Earl Sweatshirt – “Hive (featuring Vince Staples & Casey Veggies)” video

earl sweatshirtThe third single from Odd Future member Earl Sweatshirt’s upcoming debut LP, Doris (out Aug. 20 on Tan Cressida/Columbia), is another winner, full of woozy, spacey effects, and a slowed-down beat to match Sweatshirt’s laid-back flow. It’s not as flashy as “Whoa” or “Chum,” but it’s no less hypnotic.

 

Lawrence Rothman – “Montauk Fling” video

lawrence rothmanMaybe it’s because I just rewatched Mulholland Dr. for like the fifth time, but this new video from L.A.’s Lawrence Rothman is really doing it for me. The song is a kind of electro-symphonic ode to yearning, and the video’s decayed Hollywood mythologizing feels like a drag-performance-art version of Sunset Boulevard. Rothman appears decked out like a young Elizabeth Taylor, cooing “can I be your boyfriend?” while mirror-imaged women writhe around in leotards and 1950s-style underwear. The occasional creepy footage of an L.A. freeway or the Hollywood Tower (I think?) makes the video by Floria Sigismondi (David Bowie, The White Stripes, Marilyn Manson) an expertly crafted example of how subtly unsettling Hollywood imagery can be. The single’s out digitally and on 7” Aug. 6 from Mamaroma, Sigismondi’s label.

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"The Series" Gathers Wildly Divergent Artists

Posted by Billy Gil, September 8, 2011 01:33pm | Post a Comment
I checked out the latest iteration of Nicole Disson’s “The Series” Tuesday night, which aims to put disparate performance artists, dancers, musicians and other artists together in an LA nightlife setting — at Downtown LA hotel The Standard.

It’s a great idea, and something I’d like to see more often. From what I can tell, the artists and musicians I saw perform had little to do with one another, other than for this show, performing under the umbrella of the concept “An Ocean in Fathoms” for the ninth edition of the show.

We saw performance artists wearing dresses massive kelp clumps dangling from their heads, creating sort of oceanic swamp-thing cYellow Red Sparksocktail party personas. Paper hats sat atop the lights illuminating the Standard rooftop pool area. Swimmers mimicked amphibious noises. Opening the show was a single looping shot of a sailboat off in the distance while the camera sits at ocean level, occasionally submerged, while the accompanying music moved from incredulous sounding keyboard squelches to more melodic tones, strings and such.

Elsewhere, the performances and d├ęcor diverged from the theme. Yellow Red Sparks played a set of stripped-down harmonic folk on banjo, acoustic guitar and single drum. Bloody Death Skull played broken-down, recombinant electro folk from inside one of The Standard’s waterbed-style pods, with Daiana Feuer’s vocals emulating a bewildered and primitively sexual child. Raw Geronimo played a wild set of tribal, ferocious sound that marries surf rock, desert folk and art rock, topped off by Laena Geronimo’s swooping vocals and flailing, formidable stage
presence.

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