Amoeblog

The 10 Best Reunions of the 2000s

Posted by Billy Gil, January 7, 2014 01:44pm | Post a Comment

Since Stephen Malkmus ditched the likely lucrative reunion of his legendary band Pavement to continue on with his Jicks project, which released their great album Wig Out at Jagbags this week, I thought it a good time to look back at the band reunions that have popped up this new millennium. Though these reunions have both delighted and horrified fans, sometimes at the same time, a few have been so solid that it’s like our favorite bands never left us. Now get on it, Cocteau Twins!

1. Dinosaur Jr.

dinosaur jr. amoebaDinosaur Jr. frontman J Mascis and bassist/Sebadoh frontman Lou Barlow buried the hatchet in the 2000s, formally reuniting with longtime drummer Murph in 2005 to play on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson and tour. They subsequently have released three terrific albums. If you were a fan of Dinosaur Jr. but haven’t checked out any of the albums from Dino. Jr. 2.0 (gross), do it now, as they’re as good as anything the band released during its heyday. 2012’s I Bet on Sky featured the kind of more chilled-out (yet still distortion-laden) songwriting you might expect from alt-rock elder statesmen, while 2007’s Beyond felt like lighting a match in a room full of gas, exploding with bottled up riffs and energy. Lou Barlow, whose own Sebadoh reunion also ranks as one of the better ones of the 2000s, makes his first contributions to the songwriting on these albums since 1987’s You’re Living All Over Me, and the band is better for it. Combined with their live shows, which are lessons in ear-splitting noise only bested by the next band on this list, it makes them the best reunited band of the new millennium!

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Album Picks: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Banks, Patrick Cowley

Posted by Billy Gil, January 7, 2014 11:02am | Post a Comment

Stephen Malkmus & The JicksWig Out at Jagbags (CD or LP)

stephen malkmus the jicks wig out at jagbags amoebaAmid all the reunions of ’90s bands, Pavement’s was an anomaly—no new material, just some shows, a best-of release and then kaput, all within the year 2010. That’s perhaps a good thing, since it gives people a chance to focus on frontman Stephen Malkamus’ work both solo and with the Jicks, which has been largely excellent—and underrated. Wig Out at Jagbags finds Malkamus and co. loose and having fun, but still writing solid songs that stick. After a couple of jammy numbers, the album picks up with the poppy “Lariat,” which funnily seems to call out Malkmus’ own fan base (“we grew up listening to music from the best decade ever!” he sings at the conclusion). Alt-rock revivalism gives way to a piano-led rock ballad on “Houston Hades.” “Rumble at the Rainbo” finds the band poking fun at its own elder status within the underground community—“come and join us in this punk rock tune/come slam dancing with some ancient dudes,” Malkamus sings. The more improvy numbers might lose some people, even if relistening to Pavement finds as much emphasis on exploration as melody, but they always come back with a catchy tune—“Chartjunk” features horns and Malkamus playing a not-jokey guitar solo, and seeming to enjoying every minute of it; “Independence Street” is a Velvets-esque, dry ballad; and “Surreal Teenagers” closes the album on an energetic high. With an album as fun to listen to as Wig Out at Jagbags, we’ll let Malkamus close the book on Pavement and move into a new era.

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(Wherein I meow.)

Posted by Job O Brother, June 14, 2011 10:17am | Post a Comment
cutest cats
Assholes.

Sometimes my cats are so cute, it annoys me. Especially if they’re being passively cute – you know, just laying in a sunbeam, exposing their bellies – not even trying, but so effwording adorable it just pisses me off and makes me want to stomp them.

It reminds me of when you see a girl who’s so fine, she almost becomes a villain. Like she’s doing it just to torment you. Like, wow you are the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen you asshole.

Is there anyone out there with technical know-how who lives in LA that can help me put together my podcast? You must be house-broken, not say mean things about diet Coke, know how to record and broadcast a podcast, and never trick me into getting addicted to heroin (please).

I’m drinking kiefer and listening to Lil’ Kim. Don’t take it personally.

I’m concerned, a teeny bit, about the phenomena of cute cats on the Internet. Increasingly, I’m seeing how the no-fail excitement of kitty-cams and what-not is impacting, not only the World Wide Web, but TV commercials as well. Word is out, and cat footage has gone viral on our screens like AIDS on the prettiest boys of 1984.

Now I’m listening to Jayne County and the Electric Chairs. I’m out of kiefer, so I’m drinking coffee.

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(In which we wonder why one bothers... Hmph!)

Posted by Job O Brother, July 12, 2010 02:34pm | Post a Comment
disney dwarf
"Social Security barely covers my cost of living and Diabetes has ruined my sense of freedom and vitality!"

I’m grumpy. Not hella grumpy, mind you, just regular grumpy. I suppose it’s from a week of drinking booze and eating varieties of delicious, weird, snack food that Trader Joe’s is always inventing, getting you hooked on, then discontinuing. (“Dark chocolate covered, rosemary-seasoned aspirin, anyone?”)

Maybe it’s because the weather just became truly warm here in L.A.; the kind of warm that makes you hate wearing shirts and leaves you wanting to bear-hug an electric fan. Most folks here love this weather – in fact, many moved here specifically for it. I am not those people. I like the north aspect to North America. And if it is going to get hot, I want it to smell like baked oak trees and wild grasses – not car exhaust and Beyoncé’s Heat.

beyonce perfume
No amount of orange juice makes this stuff taste good, FYI.

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SOUNDTRACK SERIES #5

Posted by Job O Brother, May 2, 2010 12:46pm | Post a Comment
Directions: Imagine Mr. Brother living another day, as always, with music playing. Whether it’s one of his trusty iPods, or his home stereo, or working the soundtracks section of Amoeba Music Hollywood, Mr. Brother is eating, sonically, with the mouths of his ears.

To simulate this experience, as you read the below story of a day lived, you will be given certain music clips to play. These are inserted to provide you with the same tunes Job was hearing as he was doing what you’ll be reading.

For example, while he was writing the above directions, he was listening to this:

idea

The boyfriend and I need a lamp. Not just any lamp – something that can complete his “reading nook” in the prominent corner of our living room. It must be a lamp that won’t be diminished by our awesome Italian chair (roughly the size of my last apartment) which it will stand behind, be powerful enough to provide the boyfriend with the amount of light he likes in order to read (roughly the brightness of two suns) and, in general, should be hella rad.

So, every Sunday for the past month, he and I have set out into the deliciously temperatured* but cruelly trafficked land of Los Angeles. Armed with my trusty iPod, which I plug into his car – a Lexus with a capacity for smarts exceeding most high school students – its music gives me the fortitude to face another shopping day.

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