Amoeblog

Top 40 California Albums Released in 2013

Posted by Billy Gil, December 10, 2013 03:31pm | Post a Comment

Through my Weekly Roundup series every Thursday (returning in 2014), I listen to a lot of stuff from California-based artists. Here’s a list of 40 great albums that were made by artists based in this great state. There were lots more, so just consider this my own personal list, and let me know if there’s anything I missed!

 

40. FRONDSFRONDS

fronds fronds lp amoebaEpically beautiful seafaring pop from the dude formerly of The Mallard.

 

 

 

 

 

39. Kisses Kids in LA

kisses kids in la amoebaThe cute electro-pop duo get dancier with freestyle sounds on their second album.

 

 

 

 

 

38. Tyler, the CreatorWolf

Continue reading...

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.

Continue reading...

Sonny Smith Discusses Excellent New Sonny & the Sunsets Record 'Antenna to the Afterworld'

Posted by Billy Gil, July 9, 2013 11:57am | Post a Comment

sonny sunsetsSonny & the Sunsets have been releasing awesome, diverse records for some time now. Though they often get lumped in with a generic “garage rock” tag that seems to envelop a number of disparate bands from SF or LA, each Sunsets record is quite a departure from the last, from the ramshackle rock of Tomorrow is Alright to the bubblegum-minded Hit After Hit to last year’s country-rockin’ Longtime Companion.

The latest album from Sonny Smith and his crew is his best yet. Antenna to the Afterworld finds Smith delivering surrealist lyrics about aliens and robots, yet they’re rooted in human emotion. “I come from the planet of dogs … And I walk on your streets ... And I can't wait to find/My little place in your weird world,” he sings in the brilliant opening track “Dark Corners,” over spage-age synths and a post-punky bassline. “Green Blood” finds Smith and bandmate Tahlia Harbour detailing Smith’s affair with an extra-terrestrial who is married to a vengeful cyborg. Even in our wildest imagination, reality creeps in.

sonny sunsets antenna afterworldThat combination of levity and realness is what makes Antenna to the Afterworld a remarkable record. Smith was inspired to ponder life and death after the murder of a close friend, and after a medium brought him into contact with another recently deceased friend (partially documented in the summer jam “Palmreader”). I recently discussed the record with Smith, and all its physical and metaphysical influences. And check out the band July 13 at the Echo!

Continue reading...

Album Picks: Boards of Canada, Surfer Blood, The White Mandingos, Sonny & the Sunsets, Lust for Youth, Disclosure, Deafheaven

Posted by Billy Gil, June 11, 2013 09:59am | Post a Comment

Boards Of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest

boards of canada tomorrow's harvestCD $13.98
LP $24.98
Download $9.98

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, the aphorism goes. For Boards of Canada, their absence from releasing music over the past seven years has left their fans rabid for something, anything from the band. Then it came — a series of codes released through various media that, when entered into a website, revealed the release of the duo’s fourth studio album. The long wait for new music and the duo’s willful obscurity about its release isn’t manipulation; it’s warranted, as part of the greater mysterious appeal of Boards of Canada, and for the fact that Tomorrow’s Harvest features some of the band’s greatest work yet. It begins sounding like the opening of a science film on “Gemini,” pointing to their early influence from Canadian nature documentaries, but “Reach for the Dead” directly follows with more epic, ominous tones. Boards of Canada have always been able to imbue their wordless music with just enough suggestion that listeners can invoke their own meaning from the music, and as such, one can’t help but think of countless awful news stories or meaningless status updates when listening to a track like “Sick Times,” which strings ghostly recorded samples of voices speaking in the background behind minor-key tones that hint at global dread. Tomorrow’s Harvest isn’t all doom and gloom, though. Even with a name like “Cold Earth,” it still the strong scent of nostalgia that carried such releases as the In a Beautiful Place Out in the Country EP to great heights, and their cut-up beatwork on tracks like “Jacquard Causeway” entrances. Tomorrow’s Harvest is long and loaded with great tracks, like the scenic “Nothing is Real” and pulsating “New Seeds,” which both appear in the album’s final stretch, making it the kind of record you want to spin again immediately when it’s over to let its finer points sink in. With luck we won’t have to wait as long for another Boards of Canada release, but Tomorrow’s Harvest is the kind of record you can pore over for years, rich enough to rank highly with the rest of the band’s estimable catalog.

Continue reading...

Weekly Roundup: Crocodiles, Sonny & the Sunsets, Heroes & Heroines, Tape Deck Mountain

Posted by Billy Gil, May 23, 2013 12:35pm | Post a Comment

Crocodiles Announce New Album, Premiere ‘Cockroach’

crocodiles crimes of passionThough they just released their last album, the fine Endless Flowers, last year, San Diego-bred rockers Crocodiles are already back with a new album. Fans of loud, creeping, melodic rock rejoice! “Cockroach” is already up for streaming via Stereogum. The Raveonettes’ Sune Rose Wagner adds extra noisy strut as producer. It’s from Crimes of Passion, due Aug. 20 on French Kiss.

 

 

 

 

Sonny & the Sunsets – “Palmreader”

Sonny SunsetsSonny & the Sunsets have premiered the third single from their upcoming Antenna to the Afterworld (due June 11 on Polyvinyl) and it’s another winner, full of gleaming synthesizers, grimy guitars and a beachside attitude. It’s like a perfect California afternoon captured in a song, with a shivers-inducing chorus. Sounds like Antenna to the Afterworld is gonna be one of the albums of the summer.

Continue reading...
<<  1  2  >>  NEXT