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Browse this week's new music releases on CD, Vinyl and more.

Punk & New Wave 7” Collection

A choice collection of punk & new wave 7 inches arrives at Amoeba Hollywood Saturday, 2/25.

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February Happenings at Amoeba Hollywood

Every day this month there's something special happening at Amoeba Hollywood, from 1-day sales to in-store performances. View

Fat Tuesday at Amoeba Hollywood 2/28

Join us for our annual Mardi Gras celebration at Tues, 2/28 featuring DJ Bennett at 3pm, followed by a parade with masks, beads, and musicians at 4pm. View

Amoebapalooza San Francisco February 26

Join us for our annual variety show featuring performances by the Amoeba SF employees and friends Sunday, 2/26 at Brick & Mortar Music Hall. View

Noise Pop Music & Arts Festival

See Vince Staples, Ty Segall, Grandaddy & lots more at the 25th annual Noise Pop festival February 17-27 in San Francisco and Oakland. View

Bigfoot Bonanza in San Francisco

Join us at the first annual Bigfoot Bonanza festival for 3 days of cult films, documentaries & guest speakers March 10-13 at the Balboa Theatre in SF. View

Tickets For Sale at Amoeba Hollywood

See all concert tickets Amoeba Hollywood is currently selling (with low fees). View

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Live at Amoeba

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Watch an epic, thunderous set of instrumental post-metal by Mustard Gas & Roses in the Amoeba Hollywood Green Room.

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Tonight 6pm - San Francisco

ROTATIONS: Daz

Tonight 8pm - Hollywood

Amoebapalooza SF at Brick & Mortar Music Hall

February 26th 8pm - San Francisco

Suicide Silence Album Signing

February 27th 5pm - Hollywood

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Music We Like

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Chalice Hymnal (CD)

Grails

Portland’s Grails continue to blur the hazy line between post-rock, world music, new age, and indie rock on their sixth album. The four-piece approach their songs as detailed tapestries, weaving in intricately detailed guitar lines, synthesizers, horns, and slow-burning beats, but with melodic intent, as the heaving melodies of songs like the title track burn into the back of your mind. Fans of gothy stuff like This Mortal Coil and the Twin Peaks soundtrack will groove to this just as well as fans of post-rock groups like Tortoise and world-blending rock acts like Calexico, especially on windswept, cinematic tracks like “After the Funeral.” Though vocal-free experimental rock might not sound like everyone’s cup of tea, Grails ensure their sound pieces are memorable, in the way the throbbing, deep synth of “Pelham” helps the band build to a satisfying climax, for instance. On Chalice Hymnal , Grails’ aching horns, swelling strings, and guitar crescendos do all the talking needed.

Life Will See You Now (CD)

Jens Lekman

Jens Lekman’s witty way with detail won him fans the world over with albums like Night Falls Over Kortedala . But the long wait for his next album was rewarded with the so-so I Know What Love Isn’t in 2012. Now, after another five-year wait, Lekman returns with his best release in a decade. He still shares the same sardonic wit as before, on songs like “Our First Fight” (“Another discussion about some TV show that never ends/No I haven’t seen Season Three/God I wish that you would just look at me”). But his occasional sour mood is tempered by a vibrant travelogue of worldly sounds, and as a result, Life Will See You Now sounds like a nomadic diary, full of sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking tidbits. From a stately crisis of faith in the late ’90s (“To Know Your Mission”) to a Balearic beat-laden ode to fucking up a carnival (“Hotwire the Ferris Wheel”) to a folksy unrequited bromance (“How Can I Tell Him”), there’s no shortage of vivid scenery. And the music has never been more inviting, on the island-dance fun of “What’s That Perfume That You Wear?” and nu-disco of “How We Met, The Long Version.” Similarly to Belle & Sebastian in their later years, Jens Lekman has learned to let loose. The result is one of his best releases yet.

Book Of Changes (CD)

Entrance

Entrance's first record in a decade shows miles and miles of growth that most artists never experience. Recalling the golden-era of the '60s and '70s, where guitar pluckers left-and-right seemed to craft musical poetry like nothing, Book of Changes is a ten song cycle that offers warm, nostalgic tunes that feel unique in today's musical climate. With a strange vibrato, his voice sings out over distinctly strange guitar playing, bells, and xylophones clanging, and background singers who have stepped out of a Kris Kristofferson track. Recorded in eleven different studios in Los Angeles and London, there's an audible quest for perfection and experimentation that channels Brian Wilson at his kookiest. "Always The Right Time" is structurally a simple, very sweet pop ballad, but is played around with enough that it never gets bland. Through the echoing drums, folk-guitar styling, and a gorgeous string arrangement, there's a real sense of love and joy that most musicians can't seem to get right. Nothing gets as close to contemporary comfy listening than this. Entrance's Book of Changes can almost make you forget the world is as crazy as it actually is.

I'm Only Dreaming (CD)

Eisley

Eisley returns with I'm Only Dreaming , another polished heartfelt LP full of indie pop gems. Album standouts include "You Are Mine," a slow-burning, yearning ballad and "Defeatist," a sweetly vulnerable and very catchy radio-friendly track. Sherri Dupree-Bemis's dulcet vocals sound like honey, linger in the mind, and punch you in the gut -- make no mistake, the melodies here are lovely, but the emotions beneath the tracks have a quiet, intense power. This is an album brimming with passion, earnestness, and beauty.

Crystal Fairy (CD)

Crystal Fairy

As far as supergroups go, it's hard to get a cooler posse together than Crystal Fairy. With Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover of the Melvins, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez of At The Drive-In and The Mars Volta, and Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes, the band delivers a sound steeped in technical prowess and anchored down with a fresh personality and emotion that is often lacking in other superstar collaborations. The group's rhythm section delivers the punk/metal riff goods, while the vocals of Teri Gender Bender give the sludgy music a texture and sharpness often unheard in similar sounding outfits. The title track's main riff is pure stoner rock thickness, while sometimes hitting those sweet tones of Black Sabbath's more regal sounding songs. Album opener "Chiseler" is an aggressive chugger with vocals sometimes reminiscent of heavy metal arena rockers like Rob Halford and King Diamond, while "Drugs on the Bus" is a crunchy bad trip with tinges of psychedelia.

Prisoner (CD)

Ryan Adams

With an opening track like "Do You Still Love Me?" it's hard not to make the connection between Ryan Adam's new album, Prisoner , and his recent, fairly public, divorce. But regardless of the gossipy context behind it, Adams has constructed a heartfelt and entrancing record, full of subtle production nuances and an undeniable earnestness. While breakup albums run the risk of becoming redundant and self-absorbed, Prisoner joins the successful ranks of records that show an artist laid bare, honest and trying to work through the confusion. Rather than asking for your pity, Adams essentially paints differently toned vignettes of the same subject matter. While the Springsteen-esque"Shiver and Shake" evokes the fragility and withdrawal of broken love, "To Be With You" brings to mind the somberly resilient honkey tonk, folky country tunes of the '60s and '70s. With the exception of the first track, which feels almost like a Pat Benatar power ballad, the album is even keeled, mid-tempo-ed, and filled with shimmery, watery, beautiful guitars that bring to mind the tones of Morrissey or The Stone Roses.

Drogas Light (CD)

Lupe Fiasco

Lupe Fiasco returns with the uniformly-strong Drogas Light , which features guest turns from Ty Dolla $ign, Rick Ross, and Big K.R.I.T. There are a few down-tempo, low-key party jams but the rapper is at his best when he comes out with guns blazin’ on standout tracks “Tranquillo” and “Made in the USA.” The production and instrumental tracks are silky smooth, innovative, and very easy on the ears — Lupe’s rhymes are solid, but these elements really kick the LP up a few extra levels. This is Lupe’s first independent release after parting ways with Atlantic; the level of creativity here is all the evidence fans need of the rapper’s newfound freedom.

Fresh Air (CD)

HOMESHAKE

The last two years have seen artists like Ariel Pink and Julia Holter step away from their roots of making ultra low-fi albums, instead turning to more polished, carefully produced tracks. As these avant-pop weirdos of the highest degree move into new directions, Homeshake's Fresh Air fills the void that they left. Previously part of Mac DeMarco's band, Peter Sagar split to focus on his solo career as Homeshake. Crafting cartoon sounds, digital bare synth riffs, and R&B vocals, Fresh Air deviates from the indie rock vibe of his previous albums and goes into full funk deepness with riffs trying their best to sound like George Clinton jamming out on a children's Casio. Homeshake removes the corny stigma from "smooth" as his complex, artsy take on funk is taken into mellow depths that feel like a contact high upon first listen. "Khmlwugh" opens up with tinny, drum machine samples with synths that sound like they're being processed through a Commodore 64. When Sagar's vocals come in, his calm, cracking voice is almost antithetical to R&B virtuosity, but it works perfectly to create a psychedelic, computerized landscape. And as quickly as the song starts, it suddenly ends on a minute long drone that sounds more like Terry Riley than Parliament. "Call Me Up" gets as close to the private press, electronic weirdos of the '80s than anything else on the album. The instantly catchy melody is perfectly suited to the raw, unprofessional audio quality and creates a hypnotic jam that feels like a stoned, late-night drive. It's strangely sexy and romantic, but almost too crazy to be a mood setter. Homeshake is the perfect continuation of the future-looking, groundbreaking electronic artists who created unique worlds and sounds with the bare minimum equipment. Spacey and crazy.

The Tourist (CD)

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

While there is a full array of instrumental textures in The Tourist , Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's latest album, Alec Ounsworth's vocals seem to be the focus of the record; which makes sense since Ounsworth seems to be the only remaining member of the original lineup. In fact, he's the only member period. While this has changed certain elements of the band's original sound, it also gives the album a very focused precision. Less guitar driven, the backing tracks tend to be more ethereal and atmospheric, giving the vocals a distinct mood from which to emerge, like in "A Chance to Cure," an aural collage of electronic beats, synth, and sparse guitar. "Unfolding Above Celibate Moon (Lost Angeles Nursery Rhyme)," with its hard panned, staccato electric piano riff and irreverent, meandering melody sounds like a cross between Harry Nilsson and Thom Yorke. The album's lead single, "Fireproof," is a tensely cool dancer, with just the perfect blend of palm muted riffs, infectious shakers, and brief, inane guitar freak outs.

Graveyard Whistling (CD)

Old 97's

You could almost define the term "Alt Country" with the latest single from Old 97's, "Good With God," which takes the sonic aesthetics and lyrical themes that are hallmarks of country music and, with a sense of reverent sincerity, subverts the form for a more modern, rockin' audience. The track is drenched with twangy guitars and a galloping rhythm, but the song has more crunch than your usual George Jones hit, and a more urgent bite than your typical Waylon Jennings track. And while the song deals with the much written about subject of God and redemption, lead singer Rhett Miller's take on the almighty, in this song's case, is presented as female, with Brandi Carlile doing her voice. With "All Who Wander" Rhett and the rest of the gang find themselves in a bit of a more traditional approach towards the genre with its ethereal lap steel guitar haunting the catchy power ballad.

Friends (CD)

White Lies

Post-punkers from across the pond White Lies are back with an album that can only be described as elegantly catchy. Since forming in 2007, the band has successfully married the neo-new wave of bands like The Killers and Interpol with the more anthemic rock normally associated with American acts like Kings of Leon and Mumford & Sons. Having ridden the wave NME -fueled hype there and back again, the band now hones its sound even further, dishing out perfect sounding synths, quickly clipped guitars a la The Cars, and Harry McVeigh’s Ian Curtis-esque intonations. Though it may be well-trod territory, the band sticks it out by writing memorable tunes throughout. The album’s first three tracks could all easily be radio hits, while songs like “Is My Love Enough?” dig deeper as McVeigh admits “I overthink all my thinking” over a fluttering synth tapestry. Mostly, White Lies give you the kind of tracks you want to hear while poolside sipping a martini—or dreaming about being there, as songs like “Don’t Want to Feel It All” alternate between silky synth lines and lighter-waving moments that beg to be heard from festival speakers. With the band’s strongest set of songs yet, Friends should be the album that finally wins White Lies the U.S. fanbase it deserves.

The Temple Of I & I (CD)

Thievery Corporation

The long-reigning kings of globally-influenced downtempo electronica are back with The Temple of I & I , another clear step forward in their evolution. This time around, Rob Garza and Eric Hilton found inspiration in Jamaican rhythms and settings. (The album was recorded at the island’s famed Geejam Studios.) Standout tracks include the Mr. Lif-starrer “Ghetto Matrix” and “Letter to the Editor,” which features ultra fresh Kingston MC and singer Racquel Jones. Fans of intelligent, jet setting trip-hop vibes won’t want to sleep on this one.

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Amoeblog


Influential soul/funk percussionist Clyde Stubblefield passed away February 18th at age 73.