Amoeblog

Album Picks: Shabazz Palaces, Wildest Dreams

Posted by Billy Gil, July 29, 2014 10:00am | Post a Comment

Shabazz Palaces - Lese Majesty (LP, CD)

shabazz palaces lese majesty lpShabazz Palaces 2011 release Black Up is undoubtedly one of the best, most exciting hip-hop releases of the new millennium. So we waited with bated breath for this second release from Ishmael Butler (one of '90s alt hip-hop greats Digable Planets) and Tendai Maraire, and Lese Majesty does not disappoint. The album is a sweltering blur of chilled-out beats, sparkling synthesizer tapestries and spacey rhymes that echo through your head. The 18-track album has a prog-like massivity to it, making it fun to get lost in—you can listen to Lese Majesty three times in a row on repeat and never get sick of it, nor will you fail to discover something new. But if you need a good entry point into their weird, wonderful world, I'd recommend the bizarrely catchy beats that hook you in "They Come in Gold" or the funny and fast-paced "#CAKE," with its layers of vocals and strange diversions. Now all I'm gonna do with the rest of my day is eat cake and listen to Shabazz Palaces. I wish! Back to work ... but honestly, this is one of the best things anyone's put out this year. Shabazz Palaces play Amoeba SF tonight at 6 p.m.!

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My Morning Jacket Calls Upon Fans to Curate Set List Using Twitter

Posted by Rachael McGovern, June 8, 2012 02:50pm | Post a Comment
My Morning Jacket announced two things this week: 1) new West Coast tour dates and 2) what they are calling the "Spontaneous Curation Series," an opportunity for fans to help determine which songs get played each night. MMJ will use their Twitter account before each performance to engage with fans and accept requests for that particular show.

What is a little unclear is whether Twitter fans are making suggestions for their encores or for their entire set. It may be vague because certain festival shows, particularly in Europe, can't accommodate their generally lengthy encores. But what is clear is that Fan Club members get an additional opportunity to help decide the opening song.

My Morning Jacket Spontaneous Curation Series

I really love this "Spontaneous Curation Series" idea for a few reasons. For fans who participate, it will make them feel involved in the performance far more than a "passive" attendee and each show will truly be special and unique. (Which may also drive ticket sales for fans looking to experience a different show each night.) From a social media perspective, it will strengthen their audience, certainly in terms of online engagement but also likely in total number of Twitter followers. That's akin to a social media slam dunk - reward and engage your core followers while attracting new ones in the process!

Elvis Costello WheelMMJ's "Spontaneous Curation Series" reminds me of a 2012 hi-tech version of Elvis Costello's "Spectacular Spinning Songbook." During his 1986 "Revolver Tour," Costello brought a game show style wheel with him on stage and let fans spin the giant wheel to decide the next song. Costello resurrected the concept in 2011 and recently released the Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook CD/DVD recorded over two nights in Los Angeles. Perhaps the MMJ "Spontaneous Curation" shows will lead to a live album as well...

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50 Favorite Albums of 2011

Posted by Aaron Detroit, December 18, 2011 12:00am | Post a Comment

Aaron Detroit, Buyer at Amoeba Hollywood. As you may know, I've worked in Hollywood for 8 years, but started my time with Amoeba - way back in 1998 -  at the San Francisco store. This is my extensive list of 2011 releases that I fell in love with or had hot and heavy affairs with this year.

50 Favorite Albums of 2011



  1. Wild Beasts Smother

In 2008, Brit quartet Wild Beasts released their shaky-legged -but- stunning debut, Limbo Panto. In the four years since, the band has released two thoroughly dazzling masterpiece full-lengths of deceptively delicate indie rock, lyrically bent towards looking in the dark recesses of the heart and libido, largely sung by co-vocalist Hayden Thorpe in his trademark falsetto. Smother finds the band adding a new restraint to their arrangements that allows the tension in the lyrics to hit with hair-on-end chills. It is a singular LP by a singular band that I expect will eventually reach a Radiohead-level stratosphere. 

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Best of 2011: PST

Posted by Billy Gil, December 14, 2011 06:30pm | Post a Comment
Oh hey! It's time for some top 50 album love.

1. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
 
Longtime devotees of Anthony Gonzalez’s M83 got to see him make good on the promises of his previous albums, all of which are great in their own way, on this unabated masterpiece. Across two albums’ worth of material, Gonzalez’s childlike ethos spreads across synth pop dreamscapes taken to arena-level sonic and emotional territory in a way that never feels trite or untrue. If he overreaches, he does it in the best way possible.

2.  Toro y Moi – Underneath the Pine
 
Chaz Bundick’s second album is a light-year’s jump over 2010’s chillwave capsule Causers of This, an album that seems to take a young lifetime’s worth of backseat radio listening and picks just the choicest bits, whether its early hip-hop or psychedelic rock or cool jazz, filtering it through Bundick’s too-cool specs.
 
       3. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
 
PJ Harvey’s perfect instincts have guided her through the starkest of emotional territory with only the most necessary accompaniment. She continues that trend here, on an album reflecting on war and England’s history in a way that feels loose and not heavy-handed, aided by strangely fitting samples and tasteful effects, but still allowing for the emotional sucker punches she’s so adept at (“I’ve seen soldiers fall like lumps of meat” in “The Words That Maketh Murder” is one for the ages).

4.  Dirty Beaches – Badlands
 
Dirty Beaches’ Alex Zhang Hungtai is a master of minimalism. Over pitch-black surf riffs he plays and then samples, he breathes, whispers and cries tales of teenage longing inspired by ’50s rock ‘n’ roll (“Sweet 17,” “True Blue”), unearthing the dirt beneath the saccharine. At only eight tracks, two of them wordless, Badlands is the year’s most beguiling release.
 
       5. Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
 
Hip-hop that feels worlds removed from the realm of hip-hop, this forward-thinking album manages to stay fun while its psychedelic tones intimate something more cerebral and transcendent.
 
      6. Real Estate – Days
 
While Real Estate seemed primed to take the throne as leaders of the reverb pack with their self-titled debut in 2009, this glorious jangle-pop opus puts them more in line to grab the torch from the departing R.E.M.
 
        7. Iceage – New Brigade
 
Real noise punk from Danish teens that rocks so hard it puts just about every other band alive to shame in comparison.

Hip-Hop Rap Up 07:08:11: Curren$y, Raashan Ahmad, Peanut Butter Wolf, Shabazz Palaces, San Quinn, Beats, Rhymes, & Life, Philthy Rich & Messy Marv, Headnodic, A-Plus + more

Posted by Billyjam, July 8, 2011 06:55pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Six Week Ending 07:08:11


1) Curren$y Weekend at Burnie's (Warner Bros)

2) Shabazz Palaces Black Up (Sub Pop)

3) Pete Rock/Smif-n-Wessun Monumental (DuckDown)

4) Philthy Rich & Messy Marv Neighborhood Superstar Part 3 (Town Thizzness)

5) Matthew Shipp/Beans/William Parker/Hprizm Knives From Heaven (Thirsty Ear)

6)  Raashan Ahmad For What You've Lost (PID)

Big ups to Luis at Amoeba San Francisco for this latest hip-hop chart that includes in the number one slot the anticipated new release from one of hip-hop's most buzzed about (albeit under the radar) artists these days, New Orleans's underrated rap talent Curren$y and his sixth studio album, Weekend at Burnie's. The album, which is named after the 1989 comedy movie of the same name, is Curren$y's second full length for Warner since his exit from Def Jam. A fuill decade in the rap game Curren$y has the distinction of being simultaneously incredibly well known by a large segment of the hip-hop community (who've followed his career via the free mixtapes and official releases he's been dilegently cranking out) but relatively unknown on a mainstream level. This could all change with Weekend which packs a lot of crossover ready material.

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