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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Interview: Cass McCombs

Posted by Billy Gil, October 25, 2013 09:47am | Post a Comment

cass mccombsCass McCombs’ wonderful new record, Big Wheel and Others, is a big record, in length (22 tracks), scope and humanity. Ostensibly a folk-rock record, it dabbles in country, blues, rock ‘n’ roll and just about every other genre that can be lumped into the general, overarching term “Americana.” Yet this isn’t a reverent record by any means. Much as his prior records did, such as 2011’s double whammy of Wit’s End and Humor Risk, songs veer into avant-garde atmospherics; lyrics defy their genre’s constraints, such as the country-rockin’ “Big Wheel,” which delves into the manhood country music often stands upon (“the taste of diesel and the sound of big rigs,” he sings, before later undercutting such manly imagery with lyrics like “a man with a man, how more manly can you get? I may be 5-foot-one, but you’re all wet”). Interspersing the tracks are interludes cut from the 1970 documentary short Sean, about a hippie kid who smokes weed, plus two versions of the same song, “Brighter!,” one sung with the late actress Karen Black, with whom McCombs also dueted on the Catacombs highlight “Dreams-Come-True-Girl.” I sat down to ask McCombs about the epic new album.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Overview of 1990's Hip-Hop

Posted by Billyjam, September 24, 2013 05:40pm | Post a Comment
The 1990's was an amazing decade for hip-hop music: one which enjoyed the second half of the so-called Golden Era of hip-hop, the birth & proliferation of the indie hip-hop movement, the end of the Afro-centric movement and, propelled by the success of the early decade success of the G-Funk Era, the commercialization of the gangsta rap style that continues to this day.  So for this Hip-Hop History Tuesdays Amoeblog I present a broad overview of the  decade that was the 90's. A by no means inclusive of that very prolific decade this look at the decade merely scratches the surface, selectively highlighting a handful of releases and events (with each year getting a mention) that helped shape the 1990's in hip-hop.

In 1990 revolutionary, militant and Afro-centric hip-hop was in full effect and looked like it would be around forever. Examples included such popular socially & politically charged albums released in that first year of the decade as Public Enemy's third full-length album Fear Of a Black Planet, Ice Cube's first post N.W.A./solo album AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, Boogie Down Productions' Edutainment,X-Clan's To The East, Blackwards, Brand Nubian's One For All, Poor Righteous Teachers' Holy Intellect, Paris' The Devil Made Me Do It, Tragedy The Intelligent Hoodlum's self-titled Marley Marl debut, and Lakim Shabazz's Lost Tribe of Shabazz.

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Rock The Bells Primer For The Hip-Hop Festival's Two Days In The Bay

Posted by Billyjam, September 14, 2013 01:50pm | Post a Comment

With the summer's Rock The Bells mega traveling  hip-hop festival rolling through the Bay Area this weekend (both today and tomorrow) I thought it only fitting to salute some of the many artists performing at the artist-packed, two-day event by including (below) music videos from a sampling of some of the talents performing. These include E-40 and Too $hort, Wu-Tang Clan, Talib Kweli, Action Bronson, and Dilated Peoples. Meantime see the flyer above for detailed listing of this year's most impressive line-up of acts performing across the different stages at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View where Rock The Bells is once again this year. Note that both the late great Ol' Dirty Bastard and Eazy E will be kind of present via hologram technology a la the 2Pac at Coachella hologram. Also note that Deltron 3030's performance is tomorrow Sunday only. For Rock The Bells tickets and more info click here.

New "What's In My Bag?" with Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino

Posted by Amoebite, May 8, 2013 05:40pm | Post a Comment
Childish Gambino

Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino found some time in his busy schedule to do a little shopping at Amoeba Hollywood. Many of you know Glover for his acting role on the comedy sitcom, Community. Or maybe you've seen his hilarious Comedy Central special Weirdo. Perhaps you are one of the 9 million people who viewed Glover in the viral video Bro Rape. It's obvious, the dude is funny, super talented and he's everywhere! Did you know he was a writer for the NBC show 30 Rock?

Childish Gambino CAMPNot only is he quickly on his way to blockbuster status a la Will Smith, but he's proved to be a bonafide emcee and has the lyrical punchlines to rival Kanye West. ("The shit I'm doing this year? Insanity. Made the beat then murdered it: Casey Anthony"). Already an underground favorite, Childish Gambino (Glover's moniker) has released 3 mixtapes followed by his well recieved debut album CAMP (Glassnote). To further solidify his Hip Hop cred, Gambino has recorded tracks with the likes of Ghostface Killah and Kendrick Lamar.

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