Amoeblog

Show Recap: Robyn & Royksopp at the Hollywood Bowl

Posted by Billy Gil, June 30, 2014 12:37pm | Post a Comment

robyn royksopp

Screenshots via YouTube

Robyn & Royksopp absolutely tore it up for a sold-out, double-headliner bill at the Hollywood Bowl last night. The pair were promoting their new collaborative mini-album, Do It Again, and while that album is plenty terrific and they did play songs from it, both acts also made good with the hits, and Robyn played a couple of rare and/or new songs.

Royksopp played a set healthy with songs from their earlier albums (such as A.M.’s “Eple” and “Poor Leno”) and perhaps understandably with fewer tracks from their most recent album, Senior, a darker and instrumental affair compared with the flashing lights and high-profile guest spots of 2009’s companion album, Junior. The songs from that album sounded fantastic here, with a guest singer standing in nicely for The Knife/Fever Ray’s Karin Dreijer Andersson (no terrifying mask, though) on Junior highlight “This Must Be It.” It sounded fantastic, though perhaps a bit subdued, but that may have been due to me having nosebleed seats.

Continue reading...

Show Recap: Kan Wakan at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, June 25, 2014 07:18pm | Post a Comment

kan wakan amoeba hollywoodKan Wakan's sound on their recent Moving On album, a stew of stirring strings, classic rock organs, gleaming guitarwork and sensual vocals, seemed like it would be difficult to pull off in a live setting. But my first time seeing the band, June 18 at the store, showed just how skilled the band is at taking a heady and heavily orchestrated sound and making it work live. Beginning with cool polyrhythms and arpeggiating synths, singer Kristianne Bautista's vocals sounded husky and soulful one second, lilting the next, reminiscent of Bjork in their elasticity. Kan Wakan's sound is decidedly not small, playing as a seven-piece and creating grandiosity with surging crescendos, bells and tribal drums. Their songs sway and move, sultry and mysterious, oceanic amid surging guitars and crashing cymbals. The overall effect and intention seems to me to stir something up in you rather than smack you upside the head with something catchy, a nice antidote to the flood of overly excitable indie pop bands in L.A. Bautista's vocals were sometimes muffled by all the sci-fi synths and other craziness but would come through loudly every so often with a breathy forcefulness. For a band that trades in atmospherics and post-rock vibes, live, they're as gripping as a punk band.

See more photos from the show here.

Show Recap: Cate le Bon at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, May 2, 2014 06:00pm | Post a Comment

cate le bon amoeba hollywoodCate le Bon’s songs have a ragged glory, spare, yet intricate and propulsive like Television and Patti Smith Group before her, with a world-weary soul cutting through via le Bon’s swooping vocals. Backed by her sturdy, three-piece band, they launched into the clockwork shuffle of “No God,” from her most recent release, 2013’s excellent Mug Museum, at Amoeba Hollywood April 30.

Le Bon shifted gears from icy to sultry for single “Are You With Me Now,” which has the feel of a classic reggae ballad covered by a CBGBs band. The set picked up for album opener “I Can’t Help You,” its interlocking post-punk guitars and le Bon's sultry voice moving into a snarling chorus while le Bon's nimble-fingered guitarist doubled as keyboardist, playing jaunty synth organ to balance the songs jagged edges. They got playful for “Duke,” a song whose singsongy melody ends in a banshee wail from le Bon.

Her set moved from le Bon’s most immediate songs to some of her most challenging ones. “Sisters” started harmlessly enough with an upbeat jangle but ended in atonal guitar jabs and a ping-ponging bassline. “Wild,” Mug Museum’s heaviest rocker, saw some of le Bon’s wildest guitar playing as the song ended in a krautrock freakout. And for anyone not new to the le Bon fold, she pulled out Cyrk’s “Fold the Cloth,” its ornate arrangement balancing Mug Museum’s directness and ending things with eerie harmonies and spurts of carefully orchestrated guitar noise.

Continue reading...

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.

red bull linered bull sound select amoeba fidlar

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.

Continue reading...

Show Recap: Crystal Antlers at Amoeba Hollywood

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

crystal antlers

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.

Continue reading...
<<  1  2  3  4  5  6  >>  NEXT