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Weekly Roundup: The Mantles, The Soft Moon, Thee Oh Sees, Le Youth

Posted by Billy Gil, April 11, 2013 03:35pm | Post a Comment

The Mantles Release “Brown Balloon,” Long Enough to Leave Due June 18

The MantlesLovely new stuff from San Francisco’s The Mantles. “Brown Balloon” echoes a bit of New Zealand’s Flying Nun label (with bands such as The Chills and The Clean) with clean guitars dripping reverb, but the vocals are nicely left largely rough and untouched, giving it a garage feel that goes a long way to set it apart. Loving those pristine guitars that come in about 40 seconds in, as well as the power chords at the chorus — remember those? Long Enough to Leave is out June 18 on Slumberland.

 

The Soft Moon Unveils “Want” Video

The Soft MoonThe Soft Moon’s Zeros is a deeply dark, cinematic record, so it makes sense that the video for one of its best songs, “Want,” would follow suit. Feeling somewhere between a nightmare, drug hallucination and horror movie, “Want” calls to mind classic videos like Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up” (and similarly to that video, “Want” is very much NSFW, so don’t click if you may be offended by drug use or brief nudity and violence).

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Weekly Roundup: FIDLAR, The Soft Moon, Classixx, Cillie Barnes, Thee Oh Sees, Shannon and the Clams, Sonny and the Sunsets, Audacity

Posted by Billy Gil, March 7, 2013 03:52pm | Post a Comment

FIDLAR – “Max Can’t Surf” video

FIDLAR Amoeba HollywoodLoveable L.A. garage punks FIDLAR have a new video for “Max Can’t Surf,” one of the best tracks from their self-titled debut record, built on classic-rock riffs with lyrics about Del Taco and a dude with no balance. The video follows band members on an acid trip via interstellar skateboards that look like the hoverboards from Back to the Future II. Too fun! See more pics from their Amoeba performance here, and read my interview with the band here. They’re also going on tour with Wavves, whose upcoming Afraid of Heights is due March 26 and it up for preorder; check ’em out together at the Echo March 20 and The Smell April 21.

 

The Soft Moon – “Insides” video

The Soft MoonOakland-based The Soft Moon aka Luis Vasquez has a video for “Insides,” a standout from last year’s darkwave release Zeros. Really nice effects on this, sort of looks like a graphic novel streamed through a projector and fits the gloomy nature of the song. It also puts the shy-seeming Vasquez in the center of the video, as does the song for an artist who primarily lets the music do the talking but who steps out of the shadows on this track.

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20 Super Rad Free Downloads from 2012

Posted by Billy Gil, December 20, 2012 05:40pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba.com’s growing free downloads section had a ton of great stuff this year. Here are some highlights.

 

Sufjan Stevens – “Justice Delivers Its Death”

This delicate ballad comes from Sufjan Stevens’ latest Christmas opus, Silver & Gold, Songs for Christmas, though its delicate beauty would fit on any of Stevens’ early, more acoustic releases.

 

Listen

Download

Buy the album

 

 

Pissed Jeans – “Bathroom Laughter”

Pennsylvania punks Pissed Jeans’ latest album, Honeys, is due Feb. 12 on Sub Pop. The first taste from the album is a ferocious blast, with singer Matt Korvette scream-talking lyrics quickly as the band bashes out two-and-a-half minutes of hardcore bliss.

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Weekly Roundup: FIDLAR, Widowspeak, Wavves, How to destroy angels_, The Congos / Sun Araw / M. Geddes Gengras

Posted by Billy Gil, December 13, 2012 03:18pm | Post a Comment

FIDLAR – “Gimme Something” video, album up for preorder

FidlarOf all the scuzzy, sloppy, boozey garage bands in L.A., FIDLAR is the skuzziest, sloppiest and booziest. OK, they might not be the sloppiest any more now that they’re hitting it big, judging by the sounds of “Gimme Something,” a cleaned-up, jangly country-style track that highlights just how good this band’s actual songwriting is. As if to hammer the point home, the “Gimme Something” video either sees the band dolled up like Creedence Clearwater Revival playing some state fair in the ’70s, or it’s very cleverly edited video of some ’70s band made too look like they’re playing FIDLAR’s song. Either way, it rules! FIDLAR’s self-titled debut is due Jan. 22, preoder it on CD or LP here.

 

 

 

Widowspeak – “The Dark Age,” album up for preorder

WidowspeakAnything that comes out on the Captured Tracks label immediately gets my attention, and one of their newest signees doesn’t disappoint. Widowspeak pair Western jangle-rock riffs — like real ones, not limp little guitar doodles — with sultry, breathy vocals from Molly Hamilton. She reminds me a bit of the late, great Trish Keenan of Broadcast, and similarly Hamilton’s grounded vocals serve as a wise counterpoint to her partner Robert Earl Thomas’ wild guitar work. “The Dark Age” comes from their upcoming album, Almanac, due Jan. 22 on LP and CD.

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50 Essential Albums Released in 2012

Posted by Aaron Detroit, December 5, 2012 11:00am | Post a Comment

Aaron Detroit, Buyer at Amoeba Hollywood. I've worked in Hollywood for eight years, but started my time with Amoeba - way back in 1998 -  at the San Francisco store. This is my extensive list of 2012 releases that I fell in love with or had serious affairs over the past 365 days. 2012, for me, was a surprising and amazing year in music. Nearly all 50 releases here could have been a Top-Ten contender almost any other year, and the Top Ten is full of records that could easily have been #1.



50 Essential Albums of 2012


1.  SCOTT WALKER Bish Bosch (4AD) 

The 6-year-long wait was well worth it, as is usually the case with Walker. This isn't the latest indie background music du jour - It's an Absurdist's symphony. Melody is eschewed for repetition, but you still walk away with the damned thing in your head. E-bows, machetes as percussion and disturbing (as well as amusing) scatological metaphors are some of the unlikely ingredients that make up this terrifying (and weirdly infectious) beauty. There's really nothing else like it, so enjoy figuring it out for the rest of your life.  






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