Amoeblog

Amoeba and Moheak's Song of the Week: The xx's 'Sunset'

Posted by Billy Gil, May 6, 2013 09:30am | 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 The XX’s “Sunset.” The sultry song from the English band’s second album, Coexist, is a prime example of the trio’s nighttime bliss. Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim trade hushed, romantic verses and dole out icy guitarwork while Jamie Smith lays down a minimalist beat. Sample or download the song here.

The XX

A 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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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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Amoeba's Top 50 Selling Albums of 2012

Posted by Billy Gil, January 3, 2013 01:17pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba's top 50 best sellers

 

The following is a list of Amoeba Hollywood's top CD and vinyl sellers (combined) for 2012.

 

 

 

lana del rey1. Lana Del Rey - Born to Die

All the Internet backlashes and a disastrous SNL performances in the world couldn't wash Ms. Del Rey away. Her Born to Die was Amoeba's bestselling album of 2012 by a longshot. See her Amoeba performance below.

 


Jack White Blunderbuss2. Jack White - Blunderbuss

The main man behind The White Stripes, The Dead Weather and The Raconteurs stepped out solo in 2012 with a winner in the blues-lovin' Blunderbuss.

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Album Picks: Thee Oh Sees, The XX, The Raveonettes, Plus Albums and Blu-rays Out Today

Posted by Billy Gil, September 11, 2012 05:45pm | Post a Comment
thee oh seesThee Oh Sees – Putrifiers II
 
S.F. psych-rockers Thee Oh Sees’ cult seemed to overflow with two great albums released last year, the scuzzy lo-fi pop of Castlemania and its more acid-tinged follow-up, Carrion Crawler/The Dream. Putrifiers II works off that momentum and delivers on its promise, scaling back the noise of their more rambunctious moments to offer hypnotic, low-key psych-pop. “Wax Face” features some of Thee Oh Sees main man John Dwyer’s idiosyncrasies, with wacked out harmonic guitarwork and echoing, screechy vocals, but with that familiarity out of the way, the album’s next two songs feel new for Dwyer, as “Hang a Picture” is nostalgic, even sweet jangly pop, and “So Nice” takes a Velvets-inspired trip through stately drone. “Flood’s New Light” sounds like a cleaned-up version of the off-kilter Turtles-style garage rock the band previously produced, and with its cleaner production, Dwyer’s pop songwriting smarts come through more clearly, as does his way of subverting his pop arrangements with slightly atonal melodies. As the album’s noise-and-space epic title track flows into the ethereal, strange ’60s pop of “We Will Be Scared,” it becomes clear this is Dwyer’s strongest material to date. For all his prolificacy, Putrifiers II is remarkably consistent and a fine statement of purpose moving forward for Dwyer.
 
the xxThe XX – Coexist
 
The XX dig further into their shrouded corner of the universe with Coexist, an album that finds the trio even more assured in producing their minimalist, romantic sound. “Angels” opens the album breathtakingly as Romy Madley Croft’s vocal coaxes intensity with just a few simple refrains. Co-vocalist Oliver Sim pulls a similar trick on the yearning “Missing,” while “Chained” is one of the best examples yet of how Jamie Smith’s production meshes perfectly with Madley Croft and Sim’s simple yet divine vocal interplay and subtle guitarwork, its beats coming in offtime to break the spell at just the right time. Coexist works when its trio supports each other with the just the right amount effort, such as on “Reunion” and “Sunset,” in which Smith’s lush keyboards and muffled beatwork provides a perfect backdrop in which the vocalists can swim, or when Smith largely removes himself for the first half of the haunting “Tides” before coming in with his most pronounced beat of the album. At times it threatens to blow away in the wind, given its lightness of touch. But taking the view that there’s a time and place for most music, Coexist plants The XX firmly in nighttime music territory, and for such times — for sleep, romance, introspection — there’s nearly nothing better to suit the mood.
 
the raveonettes observatorThe Raveonettes – Observator
 
After spending the better part of a decade producing huge, wall-of-sound, Jesus & Mary Chain-style guitar noise, The Raveonettes continue the scaling back of their sound begun on the darker, unfairly maligned Raven in the Grave on Observator. Though it still eschews the campiness that marked much of The Raveonettes earlier work, Observator is a sunnier affair than Raven, full of sparkling guitarwork and Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo’s twinlike harmonies. The beginning songs on Observator sound like a back-to-basics approach to their sound, Buddy Holly melodies over tinny beats, but the Ride-like rush of “Sinking With the Sun” and lovelorn single “She Owns the Street” display an interest in jangle pop, without as much of the shoegaze sheen the band used to coat their songs with. This is a more melody-focused rendition of The Raveonettes’ sound, and thus its emotional quality comes through more clearly. Observator’s noise-flecked pop in songs like the glorious closer “Till the End” relay a lonely sense of wonderment, like staring at the stars alone.
 
Also released today:
 
st vincent and david byrneDavid Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant
 
An old art school meets new art school dream collaboration comes to us from David Byrne and St. Vincent’s Love This Giant, which plays to the strengths of both artists with a dynamic, eclectic sound, immaculate production and deft arrangement. The Byrne-led “Who” calls to mind classic Byrne/Talking Heads with its quizzical delivery, while “Weekend in the Dust” makes St. Vincent’s Annie Clark into a worldbeat dance diva. “Dinner for Two” is a sublime duet, nicely interrupted by horn-work that dots the album and holds it together, especially coming into play on the funky pop of “The One Who Broke Your Heart,” featuring Antibalas and The Dap-Kings. “I Am an Ape” and “I Should Watch TV” find Byrne at his most satirical, while Clark shines on “Optimist,” one of her sweetest vocal performances to date. Some of the album’s middle tracks mesh Byrne’s and Clark’s styles so well, such as the clockwork sound of “Lazarus,” that a future collaboration to see how these two could get into even more interesting territory seems like a sure thing — at least we can hope, because Love This Giant already is a slyly rewarding gift from two artists, one over many years and one in just a short time, who have given us plenty already.
 
calexico algiersCalexico – Algiers
 
Calexico’s noir folk sound grows even more majestic on Algiers. The band’s eighth album finds them as confident in their sound as they’ve ever been, becoming more soulful, more embracing on tracks like opener “Epic,” which balances warm verses with a darker chorus. In particular, Joey Burns’ and Jacob Valenzuela’s vocals mesh beautifully on the propulsive “Splitter,” and Burns carries “Sinner in the Sea” through its spooky, spiritual setting of sparkling piano and minor-key guitar, suggesting the New Orleans setting the band has said helped inspire the record. Calexico have often evoked various times and places, namely the desert setting of their namesake, and Algiers can’t help but feel like the work of a band at some mysterious port-town dive, whether that be in New Orleans, Algiers or any number of Spanish-speaking cities, calling out Santo Domingo and strumming Spanish guitar in “Puerto” and going back to their mariachi-inspired roots on the Spanish-sung “No Te Vayas.” Surprisingly, Calexico’s globe-trotting, more pronounced than ever, holds together and doesn’t feel like dilettantism; rather, it helps not define Algiers by one specific time or place, instead conjuring unspeakable feelings of nostalgia and becoming lost in another culture. Wherever Algiers puts you, you know the feeling.
 
bob dylan tempestBob Dylan - Tempest
 
Over the opening sounds of steel guitars and a bouncing bass, Bob Dylan’s ever-growlier voice comes in like a train conductor from another time and we’re whisked away to an Amierca of yore in Tempest opener “Duquesne Whistle.” Tempest is classic Dylan, full of his trademark detail and skillful incorporation of various threads of classic American styles. Dylan and his band tunnel through the country blues of “Narrow Way,” as Dylan delivers irresistible lines in his rambling fashion like “It’s a long and narrow road/If I can’t work up to you/You’ll surely have to work down to me some day.” Tempest isn’t all dusky blues, though, as its ballad “Long and Wasted Years” is one of its best, Dylan offering romantic lament (“I wear dark glasses to cover my eyes/there’re secrets in them that I can’t disguise”). Tempest’s strongest moments come in its closing tracks, the immaculately detailed murder ballad “Tin Angel,” hopeful album closer “Roll on John,” and sandwiched between them the title tracks, an already much-discussed near-14 minute tale of the Titanic “sinking into the underworld” (and also, “Leo and his sketchbook”), over a stately mix of country blues and sea shanty, buoyed by transcendent violins that give pause to Dylan’s depiction of tragedy and what it brings out of ordinary people, good and bad. Tempest ends leaving listeners with renewed interest in the complexity of humanity, as the best of Dylan’s work often stokes our desire to know ourselves and others more deeply.
 
guano padanoGuano Padano – 2
 
Along with Calexico’s Algiers, this week has seen a wealth of Western-inspired rock released. Guano Padano are an instrumental three-piece who move from nourish country (“One Man Bank”) to Middle Eastern-inspired surf rock (“Gran Bazaar”) to glitchy jazz (“Lynch”) and just about anywhere else their instruments can take them, incorporating your basic guitar, piano, bass and drums, plus banjo, eerie steel guitar, Chinese instrumentation (“Miss Chan”) and anything else that might seem appropriate while retaining their Spaghetti Western sound. Mike Patton shows up to lend his howling vocals to the dark “Prairie Fire,” and the band turns in a dreamy cover of Santo & Johnny’s “Sleep Walk,” but these moments aren’t even necessary diversions — Guano Padano’s cool, kitschy sound stands on its own, soundtracking imagined, unmade films and allowing the listener to explore their own interpretation or simply bask in the sound.
 
amanda palmerAmanda Palmer – Theatre is Evil
 
Amanda Palmer drops some of the theatricality of Dresden Dolls for this synthier, poppier album with backing band The Grand Theft Orchestra.
 

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New Preorders: Grizzly Bear, The XX, Bob Dylan, Two Door Cinema Club

Posted by Billy Gil, August 2, 2012 02:02pm | Post a Comment
grizzly bear shieldsGrizzly Bear have thus far released two songs from their upcoming album, Shields (preorder here), which comes out Sept. 18 and is now available to preorder at Amoeba.com. Whereas Daniel Rossen sings on the first single, the bizzaro country-jangle of “Sleeping Ute,” warm-voiced Ed Droste lends his vocals to “Yet Again,” which the band debuted today. Like most Grizzly Bear songs, it’s a grower and takes a few listens for everything to sink in. I’m picking up some Radiohead vibes on this one — nice downward-angling melody and shuffling drums, with some of GB’s now trademark harmonies and vocal acrobatics in the background. Judging by these first two songs, there could be a more laid-back vibe than on Veckatimest, which always suits this band quite well.
 
 





The XXAlso, The XX have begun the promotional push for their new album, Coexist (preorder here), out Sept. 11, debuting its first single, “Angels,” and playing it on the late-night circuit. The XX are pretty weird to have gotten this popular, but I think that says something good about people’s taste, right? The first time I heard this song, I thought it wasn’t so great. Kind of too slow and spacious for a single, even for them. Today I listened again and it had me within the first seconds, even before that hallowed out drum roll comes in and lifts Romy Madley Croft’s vocals skyward. Pretty, simple and pure. The fact that it will probably soundtrack a lot of breakup scenes in movies or whatever is irrelevant; the song sounds written from the gut, and that’s why people respond to this band.
 
 


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