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Show Recap: Red Bull Sound Select Featuring FIDLAR, Cherry Glazerr and More

Posted by Billy Gil, February 28, 2014 07:16pm | Post a Comment

Red Bull Sound Selects February show, curated by Amoeba Music, went off like a firecracker doused in whiskey Thursday night, with kids lining up along Glendale Blvd. all the way to Echo Park Lake for the chance to see FIDLAR and others at The Echoplex for three bucks.

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isaac rother and the phantoms echoplexIsaac Rother & The Phantoms opened the show with a set of songs inspired by classic rock ‘n’ roll, early blues and “Monster Mash”-style novelty songs of the ’50s and ’60s. Rother’s sneering, shivering delivery helped sell campy lyrics about phantoms and such, with Rother sporting a shock of afroed hair and a black robe that made him look like a cult leader. Now a Los Angeles resident after moving from Olympia, Wash., Rother’s new backup band impressed as well, offering heavy, thumping blues rock accompaniment and powerful female backup vocals from on songs like standout “My Cryin’ Eyes.”

cherry glazerr echoplexCherry Glazerr came next, playing fizzy female-fronted alt-rock jams like “Haxel Princess,” a single from their excellent, recently released album of the same name. They followed with the minor-key “Trick or Treat Dancefloor,” and the crowd showed they were just as comfortable swaying to Cherry Glazerr’s dreamier numbers as they were moshing to songs like frothy rocker “Whites Not My Color This Evening.” Credit to Cherry Glazerr for not just speeding everything up given the size of the show, staying true to themselves and displaying impressive, Pixies-ish dynamics. They ended with “Bloody Bandaid,” a stream-of-consciousness-style dream-popper that another band might fumble but that Cherry Glazerr, young as they are, spin into youthful gold.

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Show Recap: Crystal Antlers at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, February 3, 2014 10:23am | Post a Comment

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Crystal AntlersNothing Is Real was a bit of a dark horse, released last year without as much fanfare as it could have had, given that it’s maybe the L.A. band’s best full-length to date. So it was great to see them play songs from it at Amoeba Hollywood Jan. 31, showing off a focus on melodic, dynamic rock songs that crystal antlers nothing is real lp amoebafold in some of their psych tendencies in favor of directly tunneling into a listener’s ear. They sounded particularly strong on single “Rattlesnake,” with its ascendant riffs, cool tempo changes and great shout-along chorus. I hadn’t seen the band since their Long Beach days, and it made me nostalgic on a song like “Licorice Pizza,” which features blown-out sax in a call back to their earlier, freakier days. The Sonic Youth-y song “We All Gotta Die,” more of a ballad on the album, sounded full and terrific onstage. “Andrew,” from 2009’s Tentacles, sounded great amongst the new tunes, hurling forth through a washy end and into their last song, which rode a “Heroes”-style Bowie riff while singer Jonny Bell unleashed his best screams.

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Amoeba Hollywood's Top 10 In-store Performances of 2013

Posted by Billy Gil, December 23, 2013 02:47pm | Post a Comment

This year Amoeba Hollywood hosted some of the best, and most diverse, in-store performances in Amoeba’s history. Let’s look back at 10 that stood out.

 

Yo La Tengo – Jan. 17

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More Yo La Tengo photos here.

One of the greatest indie rock bands of all time helped start the year off in support of their album Fade, playing a set that combined heavy guitar histrionics with more intimate moments. Read my full recap here.

 

FIDLAR – Jan. 24

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Show Recap: Best Coast at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, October 23, 2013 09:59am | Post a Comment

best coast amoeba hollywoodBest Coast came to Amoeba Hollywood Oct. 22 for a set of songs culled laregely from their rad new EP, Fade Away. The band showed scrappy confidence in the new songs, which return to the heavier sound of best coast fade away epher first album, Crazy For You. Frontwoman Bethany Cosentino's emotive voice shone through the fuzz as girls shouted her name, singing along to songs of loneliness and mid-20s dread. Cosentino gushed about playing to a large crowd (who lined up around the block to get in) at a place she frequented as a teen, and urged fans not to knock over the CD racks. Though the band played most of the new seven-song EP, they threw in a few choice songs from the first two albums—"The Only Place," "Boyfriend" and "Crazy For You," featuring some J Mascis-style shredding from Bobb Bruno. The whole setlist is below. See more photos from the show here.

 

Setlist:

"This Lonely Morning"

"Who Have I Become?"

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Show Recap: Gary Numan at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, October 17, 2013 02:48pm | Post a Comment

gary numan amoebaThere are some shows at Amoeba that get the staff tickled to pieces, and Gary Numan's show at Amoeba Hollywood Oct. 16 was one of them. Employees turned into starstruck kids when Numan showed up, looking vampiric in a black vest, red tie and dyed black hair.

He took the stage with his band to promote his recent release Splinter (Songs From a Broken Mind), which portrays a harder edge to the new-wave star. I was listening to it on the way to the store and found myself driving really aggressively along to the music (well, that and the Waze app was yelling at me from my phone, but that's another story).

He opened with Splinter's "I Am Dust," the industrial rage of which could have started those who showed up expecting the synthy sounds of "Cars." But the sizable crowd that showed up seemed to dig the new tunes, bobbing their heads along when the drums and distorted guitars came in hard and enjoying the new ride one of their musical heroes was taking them on.

By the second song, I felt a little hot from the noise, a sexy, noisy blend of guitar and synth more akin to Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and Smashing Pumpkins than Numan's early records. His gothy howl was occasionally muffled by the overdriven guitars. This wasn't a problem when he broke into a couple of classics—"Are Friends Electric?" and "Cars," which had everyone cheering and uncontrollably singing along.

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