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The 50 Best Selling Albums of 2018

Posted by Amoebite, December 12, 2018 06:31pm | Post a Comment

The 50 Best-Selling Albums of 2018

As 2018 comes to a close, it's a good time to look back at what was hot at Amoeba Hollywood this year. Our top sellers are a diverse mix, as always, with rock, hip-hop, metal, soul, electronic, and soundtracks all showing up on the list. Take a look at the 50 new releases that flew off our shelves in 2018 -- some of these probably won't be a surprise while still others may have slipped past your radar.

Read on to see the full list of Amoeba Hollywood's 50 Best-Selling Albums of 2018.

Drake Scorpion 50. Drake - Scorpion xxxTentacion ?

49. XXXTentacion - ?

Joyce Manor Million Dollars To Kill Me 48. Joyce Manor - A Million Dollars To Kill Me  Kanye West Ye 47. Kanye West - Ye
Prince Piano and a Microphone 1983 46. Prince - Piano & A Microphone 1983 A Perfect Circle Eat the Elephant 45. A Perfect Circle - Eat the Elephant
Mitski Be the Cowboy 44. Mitski - Be The Cowboy
Guns n Roses Appetite for Destruction
43. Guns N' Roses - Appetite For Destruction [30th Anniversary Remaster]
Leon Bridges Good Thing 42. Leon Bridges - Good Thing Jack White Boarding House Reach 41. Jack White - Boarding House Reach
Courtney Barnett Tell Me How You Really Feel 40. Courtney Barnett - Tell Me How You Really Feel Ghost Prequelle 39. Ghost - Prequelle
Parquet Courts Wide Awake 38. Parquet Courts - Wide Awake Alice in Chains Rainier Fog 37. Alice In Chains - Rainier Fog
East Side Story Vol 1 36. Various Artists - East Side Story Vol. 1 [2018 LP reissue] The Internet Hive Mind 35. The Internet - Hive Mind 
Camila Cabello 34. Camila Cabello - Camila Mon Laferte Norma 33. Mon Laferte - Norma
father John Misty God's Favorite Customer 32. Father John Misty - God's Favorite Customer Borns Blue Madonna 31. B├śRNS - Blue Madonna
The Interrupters Fight the Good fight 30. The Interrupters - Fight the Good Fight
Kali Uchis Isolation
29. Kali Uchis - Isolation
Kamasi Washington Heaven & Earth 28. Kamasi Washington - Heaven & Earth Black Panther The Album 27. Various Artists - Black Panther: The Album Soundtrack
Beatles White Album 2018 Anniversary Edition 26. The Beatles - The Beatles (White Album) [Anniversary Edition] chicano batman 25. Chicano Batman - Chicano Batman [2018 Reissue]
Car Seat Headrest 24. Car Seat Headrest - Twin Fantasy
the story so far proper dose
23. The Story So Far - Proper Dose
Gorillaz Demon Days 22. Gorillaz - Demon Days LP [2018 Reissue] MGMT Little Dark Age 21. MGMT - Little Dark Age

 

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains

Posted by Amoebite, October 24, 2018 12:44pm | Post a Comment

Jerry Cantrell - What's in My Bag? - Amoeba Music

Alice In Chains songwriter, vocalist, and guitar player Jerry Cantrell went shopping at Amoeba Hollywood recently and shared some of the records that shaped his musical tastes for our latest What's In My Bag? episode. Cantrell found a healthy stack of vinyl reissues of some of his favorite records and illuminated what made each one special in his life. "I love everything that Elton John does," he told us, "but Madman Across The Water, there's something really magical about this record to me." Cantrell went on to say the British legend was "the artist that kinda made me want to be a musician."

Jerry Cantrell is best known for his work with Alice In Chains. Cantrell and drummer Sean Kinney founded the grunge/heavy metal band in 1987, taking the Alice In Chains - Rainier Fogname from lead vocalist Layne Staley's previous project, the glam metal band Alice N' Chains. Cantrell has been designated a "Riff Lord" by the UK's Metal Hammer magazine and ranked #38 on Guitar World's "100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time" list. 

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New Soundtracks Releases for the Summer

Posted by Amoebite, June 28, 2017 01:20pm | Post a Comment

New Soundtrack Releases For Summer

It's heating up outside, which means the multiplexes are cranking the air conditioning and cueing up the ol' reel-to-reel. That's right: summer movie season is upon us. This year, perhaps the only thing hotter than the flicks themselves are their soundtracks. And fortunately, a lot of our favorite films, new and old, are getting special new releases. How special, you ask? 

Well, a lot of these are out on high-quality 120-gram+ vinyl. Others are ready to slide right into your tape deck. Some are remastered. Some are back in print for the first time in decades. Others feature special bonus tracks or new art. And, of course, there are some pretty rad colored vinyl options, as well. Read on to find out what we're cranking now and what we're looking forward to spinning.
 

OUT NOW

Baby Driver

Various Artists - Baby Driver

This upbeat, excellently curated collection of tunes from Edgar Wright's new film, Baby Driver, is destined to be one of the year's best soundtracks. Out now on CD and 150-gram double vinyl with gatefold packaging.

One Album Wonders: Mad Season

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 2, 2015 02:31pm | Post a Comment

The Scientists were likely both grunge's inventors and the genre's first supergroup (members had previously played in Cheap Nasties, Slick City Boys, and Victims). However, if one hears “grunge supergroup” they more likely think of Temple of the Dog, a one album wonder the members of which had previously played in Seattle grunge bands including Soundgarden, Green River, and Skin Yard (as well as the not-really-grunge one album wonders Mother Love Bone and not-at-all Seattle - since they were from San Diego - Bad Radio). Mad Season, when they're remembered, are that other grunge supergroup. 
 
Mad Season's Above


Mad Season arrived pretty late on the scene, toward the end of 1994. In April of that year, Kurt Cobain had killed himself but alternative and music had by then long ceased to be anything remotely underground and was resolutely mainstream. In 1992, MTV had replaced 120 Minutes host Dave Kendall with, Lewis Largent and the program, which had previously showcased a host of bands playing diverse music became a parade of bands whose members dressed like Largent, in shorts, combat boots, flannel, and backwards baseball cap. If that wasn't mainstream enough, MTV also launched the ironically named Alternative Nation as a showcase for the manufactured corporate guitar rock favored by soulful dudebros (eg Candlebox and Stone Temple Pilots).
 

In 1993 Marc Jacobs had served up grunge realness on the catwalk for Perry Ellis -- five years after Martin Margiela had pretty much done the same thing, serving up a fantasy of homeless fashion for the one percent. By 1994 pre-ripped jeans and combat boots were part of a uniform adopted by the knavescene and celebrities like Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, and Keanu Reeves. Their female counterparts, such as emaciated supermodel Kate Moss,  were used to promote heroin chic. After not having heard any interesting new American rock in what seemed like forever, I gave up on it. I would hear the names of new bands, including Toadies, Seven Mary Three, Sky Cries Mary, Jars of Clay, Primitive Radio Gods, Eels, DC Talk, Duncan Sheik, Sister Hazel, Local H, and more. All would have their champions but like every Steven Spielberg movie since Raiders of the Lost Ark, if I gave any a chance I'd almost certainly be underwhelmed. 

 
 

Mad Season were one of those bands I was aware of but never heard the music of (until now). I was familiar with the most of members’ respective bands. Barrett Martin (drums) came from Screaming Trees, a psychedelia-tinged grunge act that I appreciated. Layne Staley was from Alice In Chains. He had an interesting voice, although Jerry Cantrell wrote that band's best songs. Mike McCready was a guitarist in Pearl Jam, a band whose first record I’d connected with when I lived on an Iowa hog farm and they were an actual alternative to the Garth Brooks, Travis Tritt, Billy Ray Cyrus, and conservative classic rock playlist of KGGO that seemingly sustained my classmates. John Baker Saunders had played in a bunch of blues bands but after the end of Mad Season would play in the sometimes excellent Seattle (and not-at-all-grunge) band, The Walkabouts.

Saunders and McCready met whilst kicking heroin at a Minneapolis rehab facility. Upon returning to Seattle they formed a band with Martin and, after working on a couple of songs, brought in singer Staley, still very much in the throes of his own dope addiction, which ultimately killed him. They wrote a batch of songs quickly, rehearsed twice, played four shows and cranked out Above in just over a week in the studio. Given their respective bands, that Above is steeped in ‘70s arena rock theatrics comes as no surprise. Despite the guitar licks and solos, there are no real anthems though, or even especially memorable tunes. 

Martin adds nice bits of color with occasional double bass, cello, marimba, and vibraphone but the songs get by more on groove than melody. There's less color to the lyrics, however, which are relentlessly serious and unceasingly hopeless. Allmusic’s allstar reviewer Stephen Thomas Erlewine astutely observed that the album, “sounds like a cross between Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam.”
 

Above was Top 40 — it reached 24 and produced two expectedly nihilistically-toned singles, “River of Deceit” and “Don't Know Anything” but it wasn't apparently intended as anything more than a sidegig and after the album's release, the members returned to their day jobs. Attempts were made to revive the band but Staley’s addiction had worsened his health to the point where his involvement was impossible. Screaming Trees’ Mark Lanegan, who’d contributed vocals on several tracks on Above, took over lead vocals and the four continued as Disinformation. Disinformation began working on an album but when Saunders died of a heroin overdose in 1999, the band was again on hiatus. When Staley died in 2002 it seemed likely the end of Mad Season but in 2012 the surviving members (and Lanegan) joined Loaded singer Jeff Rouse and bassist Rick Friel to play once again. In an interview on Louisville’s WFPK McCready claimed that Mad Season were at work on a new album. However, when Above was re-released in 2013 it included five unreleased tracks from the unreleased second album and a disc of live material, and that was apparently the end of Mad Season.

The members of Mad Season’s primary bands were certainly influential on a quite a few bands but I've never heard anyone cite Mad Season as an influence. A search online of bands influenced by Mad Season led me to the Werehouse music website, which suggested Godsmack, Sinch, Creed, and 3 Doors Down. I’m not sure if Mad Season can be blamed for any of those (and I’ve never heard Sinch, who might be excellent for all I know) but I do blame Staley in part for the resurgence of the topknot. Ever since the 1970s there’s been a twenty year revival cycle and like clockwork, twenty years after Staley started rocking that ridiculous ‘do, a Pinterest memo went out to the world’s conformists alerting them that it was time to grow out their hipsterjugend 'dos into that most unflattering of hairstyles and within a fortnight the unflattering coiffure was being donned by the likes of Colin Farrell, Mr. Posh Spice (David Beckham) and every insufferable, pretentious bartender who wants to be referred to as a "mixologist." 

*****

Follow me at ericbrightwell.com

100 Famous Rock Guitar Riffs Offers Concise History of Rock N' Roll

Posted by Billyjam, July 17, 2012 10:00am | Post a Comment
      

Rock music has way too many incredibly memorable guitar riffs to limit a best of list to just one hundred, but the 100 riffs that guitarist Alex Chadwick of The Chicago Music Exchange came up with for the above video performance ain't half bad, and it is a nice informal overview of the history of rock n' roll. Sure it's a subjective selection that includes a lot of mega hits of the genre, and no doubt every rock fan could come up with their own unique list of a hundred best guitar riffs. But I like what Alex has done: from his playing to his choices of riffs, and from how he segues from song to song, to how he plays it on his 1958 Fender Strat all in chronological order. Below is that list of songs and artists in order with the artist names that are blue highlighted linking back to the Amoeba Online Store. where you can find their respective music (CDs, LPs, DVDs) including (in near all cases) the song played by Alex.

SONG/ARTIST PLAYLIST & AMOEBA SHOP LINK OF ALEX'S 100 GUITAR RIFFS (IN ORDER):


1 "Mr. Sandman"  Chet Atkins
2 "Folsom Prison Blues" Johnny Cash
3 "Words of Love"  Buddy Holly
4 "Johnny B Goode"  Chuck Berry
5 "Rumble"  Link Wray

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