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The 90s...the best albums of 1991...

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 15, 2012 03:33pm | Post a Comment

Things had not changed much from 1990 to 1991. I was still obsessed with all things British. Still listening to a lot of Depeche Mode and The Smiths. Still very much living in the '80s. I had only just been introduced to Morrissey the year before. I listened to Viva Hate and Bona Drag all the time. I was a fan of Morrissey first since The Smiths had broken up before I even knew who they were. So it was fun to go back and discover The Smiths' albums for the first time. I started with Louder Than Bombs which was a fantastic way to introduce myself to the band. I then went back and discovered their studio albums one by one. Queen Is Dead, Meat Is Murder, Strangeways Here We Come and then The Smiths. I was hooked on Morrissey and The Smiths and there was no going back. I became a vegetarian in 1991. I started reading magazines more obsessively and trying to find out as much as I could about my favorite bands.

Both Morrissey and Erasure had new albums in 1991. These albums would both be a big part of my life that year. I can't really think about 1991 without thinking about Kill Uncle and Chorus. Nirvana released Nevermind in 1991. This album would change everything. Not everything exactly, but it did change a lot! I still remember my dad having the conversation with me about grunge. He asked me if I was "grunge." I probably answered "sort of." It was like me coming out of the closet. I also listened to so much Erasure in high school that I should have never really had to come out to my mom! I was still very much obsessed with my British bands. I was still into the goth, shoegaze, grebo and indie bands of the UK. But I also became a huge fan of Nirvana. I really had no choice. I didn't really notice Nirvana until Nevermind came out. But I listened to this album probably more than anything in 1991. Although I was probably still a bigger fan of my UK favorites then all the bands coming out of Seattle. Brit pop was just around the corner and would completely take over my life in the years that followed. But it was nice to actually be into a band from the US for a bit. Nirvana are actually one of three bands on my top ten of 1991 from the US. But the other two I actually always thought were British! They may have come from the US but they fit more into the British sound of the era. Nirvana sort of don't really fit in. But this album was too big to ignore and not put on this list. I couldn't deny its place on this list. I was quite obsessed with it. A lot of us were.

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New Albums Out Today: Lianne La Havas, Antony and the Johnsons, Niki & the Dove and More

Posted by Billy Gil, August 7, 2012 07:14pm | Post a Comment
liane la havasLianne La HavasIs Your Love Big Enough?
 
Liane La Havas’ debut is the kind of globally appealing pop record that comes along so rarely. The title track has the funky bounce of a Meshell Ndegeocello track with a big pop vocal that could land it on radio stations across the dial, while the catchy “Forget,” with its alternately belted and cool chorus, suggests a rockier Kelis. It’s La Havas’ ballads, though, where she often shines brightest. On “Lost & Found,” her lyrics are so bleak that it’s almost shocking (“You broke me and taught me to truly hate myself,” begins the chorus), given how sprightly she sounds elsewhere. Shades of classic soul (“Au Cinema”), bossa nova (“No Room For Doubt”) and jazz (“Age”) color other tracks, while somehow it avoids becoming a mishmash of unmatched ideas — everything sounds ideally effortless and true to La Havas’ identity. It’s a dynamic and addictively listenable debut that poises the 22-year-old as one of 2012’s breakout stars and one who could deliver quality records for years to come.
 
antony johnsons cut the worldAntony and the JohnsonsCut the World
 
Antony Hegarty’s latest release consists of live performances of his work with The Danish National Chamber Orchestra. As a collection it is a consummate summation of the incredible work put forth by Hegarty and his collaborators over the course of four albums, as well as some of the messages threaded throughout Hegarty’s music. The title track, which begins the album, is a stunning piece created for The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic, a theatrical representation of the life of the renowned performance artist. Hegarty then launches into a speech labeled “Future Feminism” which puts forth ideas Hegarty has represented in his music — of ecology, queer identity and feminism, exploring the idea of matriarchal forms of government being the hope for a humanity, even with the rise of Sarah Palin, as it ties to the moon, menstrual cycles and religion. It’s a fascinating, sprawling discourse that provides a setting for highlights from Hegarty’s catalog, including “Cripple and the Starfish,” “Another World” and “I Fell in Love With a Boy,” the long pause of which grows more chilling given the song’s more lush presentation. It’s by no means a greatest hits selection — no “Hope There’s Someone” or “Aeon,” for instance — but it’s a great reinterpretation of material that actually calls for such orchestration. Antony’s quivering voice soars over ballooning strings, and we’re reminded of the healing power possessed by these songs of loss and hope.
 
niki and the doveNiki & the DoveInstinct
 
Niki and the Dove create a sort of fantasy pop on Instinct. It sounds beamed in from an alternate futuristic universe of space tribes and robotic unicorns. In a more corporeal sense, the electronic pop duo drum out tribal beats electronically and unleash claustrophobic chants on “The Gentle Roar,” one of their strongest tracks. Vocalist Malin Dahlström sounds lost in the forest of metallically lush sounds created by keyboardist Gustaf Karlöf on “Mother Protect.” She comes on like one of Prince’s many protoges on the slow funk of “Last Night,” singing intoxicatingly, “last night we got married in a back seat.” Niki and the Dove share some qualities with their Swedish brethren — the warped, chirpy vocals of The Knife/Fever Ray; the space-age disco of Robyn; the alternately dark and naïve introspection of Lykke Li; and yes, the operatic drama of Welsh band Florence & the Machine. However, lyrically and vocally, Dahlström harkens back to Kate Bush and Stevie Nicks in a truer sense than some of her contemporaries — when she’s left spinning through a digital wilderness among the lovely surroundings of “Tomorrow,” you feel like you’re out there with her.
 
elle varnerElle VarnerPerfectly Imperfect
 
Glossy yet classy pop R&B with some surprises — take the fiddle (!) running throughout “Refill.” That song and its refrain (“Can I get a refill of your time?”) are a lot of fun, while other tracks leave a more lasting impression, like the incredibly soulful “Sound Proof Room,” in which Verner’s vocals sound like they could burst through any sound proof that would hold her.
 

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out this week 11/8 & 11/15...Atlas Sound...Korallreven...Sigur Ros...This Mortal Coil...

Posted by Brad Schelden, November 17, 2011 12:23pm | Post a Comment
this mortal coilIt looks like we are in the middle of November. I hope you all are ready. The releases keep coming throughout this month. But will soon be slowing down a bit. It has been a busy couple of months. We now need to all take some time and cherish these music releases and give them the time that they deserve. You might need to go back a couple of months and catch up on some new releases you have missed. Or spend some more time with some of the albums that you just didn't have time to listen to. I know that is how I feel. I am in the middle of compiling my top 50 albums of the year. And probably more than half the list will be filled with albums out the last couple of months.

I finally broke open my This Mortal Coil Box set today and I couldn't be happier. I still think it is a bit too expensive for what you get. But it is almost worth it. I guess. I do love This Mortal Coil. I have loved them for so long and spent so much time with these three albums over the last 20 years or so. I guess they deserve me spending some money on them after all they have done for me. I can't really imagine getting through the 90's without This Mortal Coil. They were this mortal coilreally not like much else that I listened to. But I needed them. These albums helped me go to sleep at night. They helped me get through the rough times and heartache. The albums are all dark and dreamy. But I never looked at these albums as depressing. There are actually some pop songs on these albums too. They are just all beautiful pieces of art. The artwork is amazing and perfect. And the songs flow great on the albums. I think I actually picked up my first This Mortal Coil album based solely on the artwork. And I may have actually gotten into This Mortal Coil before The Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance. This Mortal Coil was sort of like my gateway drug to 4AD. It was all over at that point. I was hooked for life on 4AD. I posted some info on preordering the box set last month. Here is the info on the This Mortal Coil box set preorder. However, It is of course out now. And I am proud to be in the same company of those of you who preordered the box. I did give you a chance to get it early! We are currently sold out of the box at Amoeba Hollywood. But hopefully will be getting more stock in the next couple of weeks. The albums sound fantastic. Just as great as you remember but better.

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Preorder Now...This Mortal Coil Box Set...Out 11/8/2011

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 12, 2011 09:39pm | Post a Comment
I can't even believe to explain how excited I am about this box set. All three This Mortal Coil albums have been remastered and repackaged into a beautiful box set by 4AD. This is a limited edition box set, so you shoud reserve a copy right now if you want it. I really can't imagine my life without 4AD and these beautiful albums. We all have those albums in our lives. I can remember when and where I bought each of these albums. I can remember who I listened to them with. I spent many nights falling asleep to these albums. These albums will stay with me forever in my memories. And they sound just as amazing now as they did when I first heard them. I love you, This Mortal Coil. Thank you for the amazing memories.

Check out the link for more details and to preorder a copy at Amoeba.com




THIS MORTAL COIL
deluxe limited edition
[4 CD BOX SET]

Preorder it now at amoeba.com
$99.98 w/ FREE SHIPPING!








"Song To the Siren" by This Mortal Coil from It'll End In Tears (1984)



"Strength of Strings" by This Mortal Coil from Filigree & Shadow (1986)

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SOUNDTRACK SERIES #4

Posted by Job O Brother, March 28, 2010 04:44pm | 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:


The other day… no, not that day – the other day… yeah, that one… I was painting my collection of pigments, when a car drove past, blaring its music so loud that it felt like an earthquake. But, y’know, an earthquake that could keep a beat.


I’m all for losing one’s self in music, but I do think it’s tacky to blast your car stereo so loud that anyone within an area code can hear it. I’m not talking about regular loud – I’m talking about these people who have pimped out their auto’s sound system specifically so that they can impose their roving, one-man rave on a neighborhood at a time. What if someone’s trying to sleep? What if someone’s trying to record music? What if someone’s being held hostage by a crazy person who’s got a sword pressed to their throat and is screaming:

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