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12 Great Comeback Albums Released in 2013

Posted by Billy Gil, December 6, 2013 03:03pm | Post a Comment

While plenty of new acts released great albums in 2013, a few heavy hitters came back with awesome records after years of either inactivity or critical/commercial depression. Here’s a list of 12 of those records.

David Bowie The Next Day

david bowie the next dayDavid Bowie had been relatively silent since 2003’s Reality. Then, out of nowhere, on his 66th birthday on January 8th, he announced a new album would be released in March. The Next Day largely blew away expectations, exceeding in quality just about anything else Bowie has done since the ’80s, harkening back to his most acclaimed phase, The Berlin Trilogy, comprising the albums Low, “Heroes” and Lodger. Romantic rockers like “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” live alongside alien funk (the title track) and searching ballads (“Where Are We Now?”). It’s classic Bowie, throughout. (See where The Next Day landed on Aaron Detroit’s top 50 albums of 2013 list.)

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2013 Mixtape: 21 Songs for the Time Capsule

Posted by Billy Gil, December 5, 2013 01:31pm | Post a Comment

Just about everyone could agree on “Get Lucky” and “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” but there were lots of other great singles and album cuts released this year. Here are 21 you can download from Amoeba.com right now. Pretty sure these could just top out a 120-minute cassette tape, if my high school calculations are correct. Check out my top 50 albums list, too!

 

kurt vile wakin on a pretty daze amoebaKurt Vile – “KV Crimes”

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Kurt Vile's Wakin on a Pretty Daze is a great, melodically hazy stoner-rock record, but "KV Crimes" hits hard, like a song Tom Petty would kick out in five minutes and decide he was too stoned when he wrote it and leave it on the cutting-room floor for some bullshit like "Free Fallin'." Kurt Vile is like our more enlightened Petty, one who knows that off-the-cuff tracks can be the best.

 

From the album Wakin on a Pretty Daze

 

 

savages silence yourself lp amoebaSavages – “I Am Here”

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Amoeba and Moheak's Song of the Week: Sigur Ros' 'Brennisteinn'

Posted by Billy Gil, July 1, 2013 09:43am | Post a Comment

moheakAmoeba has entered into a partnership with L.A.’s Moheak Radio to provide the Amoeba Song of the Week every week for a recorded segment to air on Moheak’s online radio station.

This week it's "Brennisteinn," the stunning opener to SIgur Ros' new album, Kveikur. The song presents a re-energized Sigur Ros, as the song explodes with a off-kilter drum beat and distorted noise right out of the gate. Frontman Jonsi sings as expressively as he ever has, singing melodically through the verses and cooing with his otherworldy vulnerability through the song's more atmospheric second half. Throughout, Jonsi's bowed guitars moan in the background while bassist Georg Holm and drummer Orri Pall Dyrason keep the rhythm section huge, ebbing and flowing in and out of the song as needed for maximum emotional impact.

sigur rosA bit about Amoeba’s Song of the Week: Every week we’ll provide a song hand-selected by our own staff to Moheak Radio for a recorded segment that will run four times a day (at around 8 a.m., 1 p.m., 5:45 p.m. and once overnight). Besides hearing what our expert staff is into, you’ll get the chance to win prizes from Amoeba Music. The giveaways will happen once a week with announcements at least once every four hours leading up to the giveaway, which will take place on Moheak’s Facebook page. Check it out, support local/online radio and win some prizes along the way.

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Album Picks: Kanye West, Sigur Ros, Primal Scream, Austra, Spectrals, The Mantles

Posted by Billy Gil, June 18, 2013 10:02am | Post a Comment

Kanye West - Yeezus

kanye west yeezus coverCD $12.98

Much as 808s & Heartbreak was a reaction to personal drama that led to a cold, mechanical album unlike anything he had previously produced, Yeezus seems to be a response to everything Kanye West has previously recorded — and to hip-hop, and popular music, in general. In short, it sounds like nothing else around, a fusion of harsh industrial production and some of West’s most aggressive lyrics to date. We had already heard the controversy-baiting “Black Skinhead,” its Nine Inch Nails-style beat giving a tribal flow to an otherwise entirely antagonistic first single. The rest of Yeezus follows suit; West as his collaborators keep you guessing what’ll happen next throughout. Listening to opener “On Sight” feels like staring into a glaring light, its synths overdriven to a digital roar, as West claims he doesn’t give a fuck, before West and producers Daft Punk drop an R&B sample that sounds like it was recorded from another room. “New Slaves” takes bling-obsessed hip-hop to task, along with private prisons and implied white privilge, ending with a gorgeous, lo-fi outro sung by Frank Ocean — it’s way too much for one song to handle, yet it’s thrilling to hear the song teeter back and forth. Ven the tracks here that don’t sound particularly interesting at their outset, like the slow-to-start “Hold My Liquor,” eventually do something that make your head spin — in the case of this song, it’s the way those sirens and West’s cadence bounce off the bubbling, ethereal synthesizers beneath. The greatest faults in Yeezus lie in West’s lyrics — heightened braggadocio and claims of manhood are nothing new to hip-hop, which is exactly the problem with some of the more repetitive lyrics about his sexual conquests, compared with their riveting delivery and the production surrounding them; furthermore, “Blood on the Leaves” questionably cops anti-racism classic “Strange Fruit” for a track that doesn’t amount to much lyrically. Yet even beyond these issues, Yeezus is so thoroughly exciting that complaints largely fall by the wayside — in fact, West’s free-for-all attitude to making music here is what fuels that burning feeling in the pit of your stomach when Yeezus is on. Even as the spectacular My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy stretched the limits of modern hip-hop, Yeezus doesn’t sound tethered to any particular time or genre, nor does it sound particularly concerned with radio airplay — even the Rick Rubin-produced “I Am a God,” one of the closest tracks here to straight-up hip-hop, seethes frustration and anger, dissolving into a series of screams and Twin Peaks-style synth strings, with nary a catchy sample or synth riff to rope in the average listener. For someone who receives (and invites) endless flack for things that have little to do with his actual music, Kanye West continues to be the most provocative and exciting artist in modern pop music with the imperfect yet undeniably brilliant Yeezus.

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Pick Up 15 Coachella Releases Digitally Before the Show

Posted by Billy Gil, April 11, 2013 05:01pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba.com has many of the bands playing at Coachella this weekend and next available digitally. Pick up some of the albums below before your drive out to the desert!

 

Dinosaur Jr. - Chocomel Daze (Live 1987)

Dinosaur Jr. Chocomel DazeRecently released live set from 1987 from the legendary college-rock band, in all their You're Living All Over Me glory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Divine Fits - A Thing Called Divine Fits

Divine fitsA surprisingly strong side project featuring Spoon's Britt Daniels and former Wolf Parade/Handsome Furs barker Dan Boeckner.

 

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