Amoeblog

10 Songs to Download Now: Mikal Cronin, Hanni El Khatib, Cayucas, Classixx, Small Black and More

Posted by Billy Gil, May 14, 2013 12:29pm | Post a Comment

Starting a new feature to highlight some recent tracks available to download on the Amoeba site. Take a listen and if you like them, add them to your Amoeba shopping cart (you won’t be charged until you check out). All downloads are in the $.98 MP3 format; visit the album page to pick up higher-res M4A or WAV files.

 

mikal cronin mciiMikal Cronin – “Weight”

Starting with a stately piano and acoustic jangle, “Weight” opens Mikal Cronin’s excellent MCII on a classy note. Those Rubber Soul-style harmonies and crunching guitars at the chorus don’t hurt, either. This one’s a free download. (From the album MCII)

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ancient animalsAncient Animals – “Teen Wolf”

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Album Picks: Vampire Weekend, Small Black, Eluvium, Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood, Classixx, Wild Nothing

Posted by Billy Gil, May 14, 2013 10:28am | Post a Comment

Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires Of The City

vampire weekend modern vampires of the cityCD $12.98

LP $18.98

Limited Edition LP $19.98

Download $9.98

Every time the world turns against Vampire Weekend, they have a way of turning around and shattering expectations. From the get-go, the band was dogged with Strokes comparisons and scoffs of Ivy League grads pilfering African music while singing about rich people. But none of those things could stop people from enjoying their immensely enjoyable first album, their underrated second one and now their third pop opus, Modern Vampires of the City. It’s low-key like Contra, but Modern Vampires’ hooks are silkier and more ingratiating. “Step” waltzes with a gorgeous collegiate melody, featuring some of the finest singing to date by Ezra Koenig, who’s finally mastered that Paul Simon trill. He also extends his voice beyond its comfort zone, taking on Buddy Holly-style hiccupping and extending his range up and down (aided by digital skewing) while the band rocks a solid shuffle on the cleverly titled “Diane Young.” It’s one of their best singles yet. Koenig’s lyrics, too, retain their wittiness and specificity, though they are open enough to make your own implications — “though we live on the U.S. dollar, you and me we got our own sense of time,” he sings memorably in “Hannah Hunt,” which ends with a beautiful, well-earned climax in which Koenig tears his lungs out belting. The band mostly stays supportive, only going full-tilt on a few songs, like the galloping “Worship You,” which allows Koenig to spit verse at lightning speed, or pulling out grand pop moments in “Unbelievers” and the uber-strange “Ya Hey,” which pairs its intricate melodies with hyper-warped vocal tricks. Modern Vampires doesn’t go for obvious, occasionally obscuring itself in too much oddity and not ripping loose often enough. But few bands at this level are still taking these many chances, and pulling it off more often than not. Vampire Weekend’s freewheeling Modern Vampires of the City firmly perches the band back in the top echelon of bands making music today.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #25: Northern Dispensary, Vampire Weekend, Nail Art, Coney Island, Lady Gaga Foundation +

Posted by Billyjam, March 27, 2013 11:53am | Post a Comment

In this 25th installment of the New York State of Mind Amoeblog I take a look at the new Vampire Weekend video, "Step," which has a Souls Of Mischief connection as well as other Bay Area references, the new Bronx graffiti indie film Gimme The Loot, a cool piece of public art by sculpture WIll Ryman that is constructed out of industrial nails, a look at Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation that rolled through Times Square last weekend, concerts in the Big Apple for the week ahead, and the interesting tale of a historic building in the high-priced Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan.

Above is a photo taken yesterday of the historic Northern Dispensary building that is located in northern Greenwich Village. Originally, it was established by The City of New York in 1791 as a Dispensary for the treatment of the poor when it was located further south on the island of Manhattan in the neighborhood of City Hall. But as New York City rapidly grew, this current structure was established in 1824 and fully built seven years later in 1831 as a provincial branch to the north - hence named "Northern Dispensary."  The unusual Y-shaped building now sits in Waverly Place where Grove Street and Christopher Street intersect on its own little island of land. The photo lower left was taken of the building in 1885.

Album Picks: Daniel Rossen, Julia Holter, The Men, Tanlines

Posted by Billy Gil, March 20, 2012 02:20pm | Post a Comment

daniel rossen silent hour/golden mileDaniel Rossen’s Silent Hour/Golden Mile EP came out today, and true to form for Grizzly Bear’s Rossen, it doesn’t disappoint. Though he’s perhaps the lesser-known entity of Grizzly Bear (the other being gravy-voiced Ed Droste), everything Rossen has released to this point, both within the band (his gorgeous “Deep Blue Sea," for instance”) or without it (as part of Department of Eagles) has born an unmistakable stamp. It’s a tribute to his talent that you can say that without being able to describe just what that stamp is. It’s a certain mysteriousness that is part of what makes Grizzly Bear so alluring, where you’re very much hearing folk-rock with a kind of doo-wop vocal delivery — sounds simple enough — but everything is curiously out of reach. Lyrics are more suggestive than descriptive, intimating nostalgia and loss without really being forthright about it, and arrangements tend to spiral out rather than circle back to where they’ve started. Silent Hour/Golden Mile is actually more direct than some of Rossen’s other work. “Up On High” wouldn’t be out of place on a Grizzly Bear album, while “Silent Song” and “Golden Mile” are relatively straightforward rock songs that still spin off from typical construction, with spindly guitars and high, cooing vocals that remind me a bit of mid-period Radiohead without actually sounding anything like that. Both songs also benefit from hummable moments — not something Rossen is always known for — as well as the kind of high, lap steel guitar lines found famously in Santo & Johnny’s “Sleepwalk” or George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord.” At five songs, Silent Hour/Golden Mile leaves you wanting for much more, which I’m guessing we’ll get in the form of the next Grizzly Bear or Department of Eagles album, but the EP is far from a departure or indulgence. It’s more like a treat, an appetizer for something bigger.

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Check Out Performances and Interviews from 2010 Coachella Artists at Amoeba! Part 1

Posted by Amoebite, March 27, 2010 04:05pm | Post a Comment

Many of the artists performing at Coachella 2010 have performed live and/or shopped at Amoeba, including John Waters, Dave Grohl, Boots Riley, Aterciopelados, Sia, Vampire Weekend and more!

Check out their instore performance videos, interviews, and What's In My Bag? features right here in Part 1, and get a little insight into these artists' inspirations, what they listen to, and their music! To see Part 2, with Steve Malkmus of Pavement, Zoe, The Soft Pack and more, go here!


Dave Grohl of Them Crooked Vultures - What's In My Bag?




John Waters - Interview



Boots Riley of Street Sweeper Social Club - What's In My Bag?

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