Amoeblog

Album Picks: Xiu Xiu, Juan Wauters, Marissa Nadler

Posted by Billy Gil, February 4, 2014 10:00am | Post a Comment

Xiu XiuAngel Guts: Red Classroom (CD or LP)

xiu xiu angel guts: red classroomXiu Xiu’s best album in years harkens back to their darkest early days with an uncompromising sound. Trading in the pop tones of  his last couple of albums for a palette of grays and blacks, aided by harsh (in the best way) analog synths, Angel Guts gets Jamie Stewart back into his most confrontational mode, though there are still unmistakable pop hooks (something Stewart hasn’t quite ever gotten credit for) lurking beneath songs like “Stupid in the Dark.”

 

 

Juan Wauters N.A.P. North American Poetry (CD, LP or Download)

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Album Picks: bEEdEEgEE, Mutual Benefit, Xiu Xiu, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

Posted by Billy Gil, December 3, 2013 09:33am | Post a Comment

bEEdEEgEE - Sum/One (CD, LP or Download)

beedeegee sum/one cd lp amoebaIn Gang Gang Dance, Brian DeGraw helps make screwed up electronic music that is still somehow danceable and hooky. In his bEEdEEgEE project, he expands on the dancier side of things, weaving expansive electronic tapestries rooted in house and new wave, with the help of a couple of awesome guest singers (CSS’s Lovefoxxx, Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor, among others). Douglas Armour’s yearning voice makes “Empty Vases” into ace emotional electro-pop. His GGD bandmate Lizzi Bougatsos lends some of her ethereal coo to the jittery “Overlook,” which feels as close to their band as anything on this album. And Taylor makes “(F.U.T.D.) Time of Waste” a great, hedonistic party jam about having lots to do yet getting nothing done—“all I wanna do is fuck up the day” has to be one of the great all-time slacker lines, while Lovefoxx’s turn over the big, dreamy beats of “Flowers” has got to be the highlight of the entire album. Yet even with these high-profile guest spots, DeGraw is still just as dazzling on his own, spinning various distorted percussive elements into a dizzying stew on “Bricks” and creating a distinctive early house homage with “Like Rain Man.” It’s late in the year, but bEEdEEgEE is making a bid for year-end-list relevance with the stunning Sum/One.

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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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10 Record Store Day Picks

Posted by Billy Gil, April 19, 2012 06:55pm | Post a Comment
Record Store Day is great for any number of reasons — supporting record stores and the music community, hearing DJ sets from the likes of Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning. But in the end it’s all about the exclusive and new releases. Here are 10 picks from the many releases coming out April 21. (Read a more comprehensive list here, and download the full list here.)
 
animal collectiveAnimal Collective – Transverse Temporal Gyrus
 
Ripped from elsewhere on the Amoeblog: In March 2010, Animal Collective and visual artist Danny Perez put on an installation called "Transverse Temporal Gyrus" at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. For the audio, each member of the band made individual sounds and songs. Over the course of two 3-hour performances, the basic tracks were fed into a computer program that randomized the track order, and sometimes randomly combined stems from one track with stems from another. The program also panned the music in various directions around a 36 channel surround sound system that ran through 36 speakers set up from the top of the Guggenheim's ramp to the bottom. The music on this 12" is a collage made consisting of the original tracks, as well as live recordings made inside the Guggenheim before the doors were opened to the public. It will be the only physical format on which any of the music will be released.
 
Plus it’s new Animal Collective!
 
Arcade Fire – Sprawl II
 
Arcade Fire’s Blondie-ish “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” was undoubtedly the highlight of The Suburbs and showed the band still has some tricks up its sleeve. The Soulwax remix included here tastefully gives it the dancefloor feel it calls for without just throwing a house beat over the song and calling it a day.
 

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Out this week 2/16 & 2/23...Xiu Xiu...Joanna Newsom...

Posted by Brad Schelden, March 4, 2010 01:09pm | Post a Comment
jamie stewart xiu xiu
It seems like Jamie Stewart had been putting out a new album every year... I am not complaining though! I love this man. But it is hard to keep up with everything he does. If he isn't releasing a brand new album then he is probably releasing a live album, a remix album, a collaboration of some sort, or an EP, or single, or 7". Sade should be ashamed of herself! How long did it take her to make her new album? 10 years. Xiu Xiu was just getting its start when the last Sade album came out. During those nearly 10 years, Xiu Xiu had released about 10 albums and 10 7"s. He has also put out a remix album, a couple of singles and EPs and a couple collaboration albums. Additionally, he took it one step further last year when he released a 12 disc/12 month music subscription service limited to only 50 super fans. The amazing thing about Jamie Stewart, the man behind Xiu Xiu, is that everything he puts out is good. I still have not been let down. Each new album and single is as good and brilliant as the last. He keeps putting out weird and experimental albums that are also somehow extremely accessible. Xiu Xiu is sort of like the experimental version of Morrissey. Just as dramatic and catchy. Just as well written and brilliant. I first became a fan of Xiu Xiu about 8 years ago when I had first moved to Los Angeles. I saw them for the first time at the Smell and was immediately a fan for life. I had never seen anything like Xiu Xiu and still haven't. He took all thejamie stewart morrissey things that I loved about pop music and new wave music, punk, indie rock and classical and glitch electronica and mixed them all up together. I was impressed and wanted more. Luckily for me, Jamie Stewart and Xiu Xiu have been very busy.

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