Amoeblog

Blonde Redhead 4AD Sessions

Posted by Amoebite, November 5, 2010 01:39pm | Post a Comment
Check out Amoeba favorites Blonde Redhead performing tracks from their latest album, Penny Sparkle, in the first ever 4AD Sessions to be filmed! Fabulous!

out this week 9/14 & 9/21...blonde redhead...the drums...brandon flowers...

Posted by Brad Schelden, September 30, 2010 01:41pm | Post a Comment
I really do live for weeks like this. 9/14 is a big release day! Tons of great new albums out to end your summer with! At the top of the list is a brilliant new album by Blonde Redhead. Some have been saying this album is too slow or mellow, but it is Blonde Redhead! The album will not get you out of a coma or suddenly make you have an optimistic outlook on life, but it is amazing! I have loved this band for a long time and over the years I have fallen in love with them over and over again. Each time a new album comes out and each time I see them perform live it is like falling in love for the first time. My favorite album is still probably Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons from 2000, their 5th album. Their new album is called Penny Sparkle and it's their 8th album. The new album is of course out on vinyl, and the CD comes out in two formats. There is a regular jewel case version and a Deluxe cardboard box version. No extra tracks, but the packaging is cute and fancy. Inside the hard-to-open box is a drawstring cloth bag and inside the cloth bag is the CD. It also has a fancy fold out booklet that is not included with the regular CD. The Grinderman, Junip, Brandon Flowers, James, & Weezer albums also all have deluxe versions out 9/14.

Anyway, Blonde Redhead is not one of those bands meant for everybody. They have not really changed very much over their 8 albums. If you have ever loved them before then you will probably still love them now. I feel like their fans are a loyal bunch -- at least I am! This new album is dark and dreamy, weird and ethereal. It will most certainly break your heart, just like you would expect from them. I have liked all of their albums but I really have not gotten obsessed with an album this much since Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons. Blonde Redhead is Kazu Makino and twin brothers Simon and Amedeo Pace. The band first started in 1993 in New York and 17 years later I really can't get enough of them. There is just something about them that gets under your skin and they stay with you for life. I still remember exactly where I was and how I felt back when I was listening to Melody in 2000 and In An Expression of the Inexpressible in 1998. Those albums and those feelings will stay with me forever. If you are not already a fan of their music it is not too late! It would be like a treasure hunt for you, going back and discovering all their older brilliant albums.

Watch the video for "Not Getting There" by Blonde Redhead from the new album Penny Sparkle...





Buy
the new album Penny Sparkle by Blonde Redhead







The Drums'
debut album came out a couple of months ago in June as an import. It absolutely became one of my favorite albums of the year! The band is from Brooklyn so it seemed silly that it would come out in the UK before it came out over here but sometimes England is just more ready to embrace a band like this before we are. The album is one of those perfect pop albums, and it has finally come out domestic this month, just in time for the final hot weeks of the year! They also released an excellent EP at the end of last year. It was a perfect introduction to the band. "Down by the Water" and "Let's Go Surfing" appear on both the EP and this full length album. The band reminds me a lot of The Smiths; they are sort of a more electronic modern version of The Smiths. The Drums used to be a foursome of young dudes but now seems to have lost one of its members. Like The Smiths, they combine the dark sounds of new wave with a more pop sound --  a mix of new wave and twee, Belle & Sebastian meets Joy Division. The album has its share of hand claps too, which I love. They are the perfect band for me and it was no surprise that I quickly became a big fan. I sort of knew that I was going to love this band before I even heard them. They could easily be mistaken for any of the more current bands coming out of Sweden. Their sound is similar to Swedish bands like The Mary Onettes, Jen Lekman, Pelle Carlberg, The Legends, & The Shout Out Louds. The songs on this album just make me happy. One of my favorite tracks is actually "I Felt Stupid," but you can only find that song on the EP. However, there are a ton of good songs on this new album, too. LIke any of the records by The Smiths, there is not a bad song on the whole album. You will not be needing to skip ahead to the next song. I have not had a chance to see this band live yet but they are doing an instore at Amoeba in Hollywood on TONIGHT at 6pm! Check them out for sure!






Buy
the new album The Drums by The Drums







One of my other favorites out this month is the debut solo album from Brandon Flowers of The Killers. Some might consider The Killers a sort of guilty pleasure but I am not ashamed of my love of The Killers. Their first album, Hot Fuss, came out in 2004 and I was hooked. They were sort of a Las Vegas rock band version of Duran Duran. I loved it. I sort of do feel like a teenager when I get out my Killers albums, but I am OK with that! They have released 3 solos albums and a compilation of outakes and b-sides. Day & Age was their third album and it came out during my first year back in Los Angeles (2008). It is not easy for a band like this to keep making hits and big fun albums one after the next but I was super impressed with Day & Age. It was super fun and had tons of great songs on it; it makes me happy to think back on that time in my life. It also makes me really happy whenever a band like this can maintain and continue to put out albums that make their fans happy. Maybe it was not such a bad idea for the group to take a break and let Brandon Flowers explore some other stuff and put out a solo album. A new Killers album will probably be out in 2012.

Brandon Flowers is the voice behind The Killers so it is no surprise that his new solo album, Flamingo, is not a huge depature from the sound of The Killers. Maybe it's a bit more country, at least on some of the songs. If somebody could go and make country new wave work, it would be Brandon Flowers. Flamingo is just as good as any Killers album and it's actually super Vegas-y (his hometown) -- way more Vegas-esque than any of the Killers albums. At least, the theme of the album and the subject of the songs is more Vegas -- it is called Flamingo, after all! I am leaving for Vegas soon for the big Matador party so this album is helping to get me ready! The album still has electronics and it still has the pop and drama of a Killers album. If you never liked the Killers then you probably will not be falling in love with this album but as a fan of The Killers and the voice of Brandon Flowers, I am also a big fan of this album. It is catchy for sure, and being catchy should not be a crime! Another great album to end my summer with. There are two more fantastic records right around the corner as well -- the amazing new Abe Vigoda is out on 10/5 and the new Belle & Sebastian album is out on 10/12! Keep them coming... 





Buy
the new album Flamingo by Brandon Flowers







also out 9/14...





Phosphene Dream by The Black Angels












WIlderness Heart by Black Mountain












Who We Touch by The Charlatans UK












Skit I Allt by Dungen











Grinderman 2 by Grinderman












The Morning After the Night Before by James












Fields by Junip










Root for Ruin by Les Savy Fav












What It Means To Be Left-Handed by Mice Parade












Never Let Me Go Soundtrack












You Are Not Alone by Mavis Staples












Majesty Shredding by Superchunk












Sex With an Ex by The Vaselines












Lisbon by The Walkmen










Hurley by Weezer







also out 9/21...






Maximum Balloon by Maximum Balloon












A Good Understanding by Nico Muhly












I Drink the Air Before Me by Nico Muhly












Trip by Laetitia Sadier











Life of Leisure by Washed Out (finally out on cd!!!)

Synthsual Seduction: Getting Intimate with Blonde Redhead's Penny Sparkle

Posted by Kells, September 14, 2010 11:00am | Post a Comment
A while ago, right here in this blogosphere, I shared a memorable, if somewhat goofy, moment I experienced in conversation with Blonde Redhead where it was determined that their signature sound is, seasonally speaking, " cold, like winter," punctuated by drummer Simone Pace's joking that they've been trying to score a "summer hit" all these years. True, there's nothing very ruddy or relaxing about the raw, malodorous roots they laid down in their hard-rocking early days, prompting fans to coin the multilingual heart-breakers as "art rock" darlings while some persnickety critics underrated them as Sonic Youth wannabes. Alas, that "certain damaged" sound that Guy Picciotto (of Fugazi and Rites of Spring fame) coaxed into the production Blonde Redhead's middle children albums (In An Expression of the Inexpressible, Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons and Misery is a Butterfly) is as gone as the no wave, DNA inspired D.I.Y. joie de vivre captured on the band's Steve Shelly (of, duh, Sonic Youth fame) produced self-titled debut as well as that of their self-produced, non-slump of a sophomore effort La Mia Vita Violenta and it's bewitching follow-up Fake Can Be Just As Good (sigh). However, I believe congratulations are in order as it seems that Blonde Redhead have, with Penny Sparkle --- their eighth full-length album in fifteen years, their third record for the 4AD label --- created the most lusciously polished, goth jewel of a make-out record since the Cure's Disintegration dropped in 1989.

Sonically, Penny Sparkle seems pick up where the last Blonde Redhead album, 23, left off excepting for the storm cloud of synths that drape the landscape of the record like a down comforter blanketing a snow bank, melting even those once raucous guitars into a symphony of layered, atmospheric electro-confessionals (in terms of 23, think "The Dress" and "Publisher" plus that creepy eight-minute 23 outtake "(We Are A real Team) Harry and I"). I'm guessing this shift in the band's sound morphology has something to do with producers Alan Moulder (whose finger prints linger on 23 not to mention his famed "shoegaze" connections and work with artists like Depeche Mode, My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus and Mary Chain --- make-out jams indeed) and Van Rivers & The Subliminal Kid (Fever Ray) who worked with the band in Stockholm thus accounting for the slight dregs Swedish pop influence that lend extra shine to Penny Sparkle's glittery glow. Though none of the ten songs that comprise the record really stand out on their own all of them resonate in comparable, if not reciprocal, aural ensembles that flaunt the usual melange of minor chords and shadowy progressive elements that have endeared Blonde Redhead to their expanding fan base. But, goll-ly day is it synthy!

Overall, I 'm going to continue to push this record as a the make-out record for 2010. Who knows if Blonde Redhead will ever catch up to said "summer hit" that seems somehow out of their reach (I suppose a meeting with Cee-lo wouldn't hurt). At least they've proven they can make a classy "synth" record that not only doesn't sound like it was sugar-coated for mainstream consumption or polished for awards ceremonies, but also seems to, along with current artists like Zola Jesus, herald the return of goth as a sexy trend to be indulged passionately, in darkened dens, with the cutter you love. If that doesn't sound appealing to you just give it a good seasonally synced listen, after all, you can't get more goth than that time of year when autumn meets winter, and winter is their season.

Blonde Redhead performing the single "Here Sometimes" from Penny Sparkle (4AD Session):

out this week 8/10 & 8/17 & 8/24...blonde redhead...conan o'brien...antony & the johnsons...sufjan stevens

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 26, 2010 12:20pm | Post a Comment
It is hard to believe that September is almost here -- it seems like summer just started! But before we know it the kids will be back in school and we will all be getting ready for the holiday season. I love this time of year... The end of summer, I mean. I was actually one of those weird kids who didn't mind going back to school. I looked forward to the end of summer and the beginning of fall and winter. The award season is also right around the corner and the Emmy Awards are this Sunday! I am thinking they are actually going to be very funny this year since they are hosted by Jimmy Fallon. I do still love Jimmy Fallon from his SNL days. I am rarely up late enough to catch his show but I do like it whenever I manage to watch it. I still think that Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon should host the Oscars together. And yes, the Oscars are also right around the corner -- the Oscar nominations will be given out January 25th and the actual Oscars will be on February 27th!
                                                                                                                                                                        
It has been a couple of slow weeks for music new releases. Arcade Fire week was amazing a couple of weeks ago but it was all sort of downhill after that. Now things are getting exciting again this week! The great end of summer albums are coming out and there are some fantastic albums right around the corner to get us through the end of the year. Additionally, there are some exciting new EPs and singles and 7"s out this week. No Age put out a new single called "Glitter" on 12" and 7". They have a new album, Everything in Between, out on September 28th. Blonde Redhead released "Not Getting There" as a 12" this week. They are one of my absolute favorites who never let me down and I can't get enough of them! They have a new album out on September 14th called Penny Sparkle. I still remember the first time I heard Blonde Redhead. That girl has one of those amazing voices and I have never heard anyone like her. Glad to have them back in my life! I assume by now that everyone has heard them but if you haven't, check out A Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons and In an Expression of the Inexpressible first.


One of the coolest and weirdest releases this week is by Conan O'Brien. Jack White has released a new 7" from Conan on his very own label, Tconan o'brien 7"hird Man. Yes, you heard it right -- Conan has released a 7" single! I can't really remember the last time a late night show host put out a single or an album. I do own a couple of Joan Rivers albums...but it has been a while. The A side is "And They Call Me Mad?" It is basically a spoken word sort of storytelling. Conan tells a Frankenstein story in the style of Vincent Price. The B side is a previously unreleased interview with Conan and Jack White. It is actually more of Jack White interviewing Conan. I don't know about you, but I am super excited about the new Conan show. Team Coco! I actually really have not watched hardly any late night since Conan left the Tonight Show. I don't really know anyone who likes Jay Leno and I am getting a bit bored of David Letterman. I am ready for Conan to be back in my life! The new show airs on TBS in just a couple of months. The date is November 8th, so mark your calendar. I can't wait! I will be patiently waiting for the Jimmy Fallon 7". Or maybe a Jenny Jones or Sally Jessy Raphael 7"! I for sure think that Oprah should put out a 7"! Come on, Oprah! It is the last year of your show! I would probably buy an Oprah/Whitney Houston split 7".
                                                                                                                                                                       Also out this week is a new EP from one of my other favorites, Antony & the Johnsons! Antony releasesantony & the johnsons Thank You For Your Love as a CD EP. The vinyl version will be out in a couple of weeks. The new full length album is called Swanlights and is out October 12th. As you would expect, I can't wait. I fell in love with Antony when Amoeba Hollywood first opened. He was just starting to become a little well known. His first album was released on Durtro at the time and then later reissued on Secretly Canadian. It was one of those albums that you really only had to listen to once to fall in love with. He really seemed like he came from a different period in time. Somebody really could have told me that they had uncovered some recording from some husky lady vocalist from the 1940's. His vocal style is sort of amazing -- imagine a goth version of Nina Simone. I know Nina is already sort of goth! Maybe imagine Marc Almond or Alison Moyet mixed with Nina Simone. It is that good. You can't help but be physically and emotionally affected after listening to an Antony & the Johnsons album. I knew he would eventually get more popular over the years -- he was just too good to be ignored. He has gone on to record 2 more full lengths for Secretly Canadian. His first album was self titled, then I Am A Bird Now came out in 2005 and The Crying Light came out in 2009. He also released many singles and EPs over the years. The Another World EP came out in 2008 before his last full length. This new EP is also a sort of teaser for the new album and I am in love with it. I am just glad that we don't have to wait until 2011 for a new album! Anyway, Thank You For Your Love is a bit on the sad side, which is probably why I love it. It also includes a brilliant cover of "Imagine." Antony! Thank you for your love! I like to think that this EP is a thank you to his fans like me for our love for him. I am just so glad Antony decided to give us the gift of his music. If you have never seen this guy perform live, you simply must do it. His shows are up there on my list of my favorites. They are magical experiences.

Continue reading...

best of the 00's...my top 100 albums of the last decade 2000-2009...

Posted by Brad Schelden, January 1, 2010 04:00pm | Post a Comment



#1
Sigur Ros
-Agaetis Byrjun
(Play it Again Sam) 2000





 



#2
Yeah Yeah Yeahs-Fever To Tell (Interscope) 2003












#3
A Place To Bury Strangers-
A Place To Bury Strangers
(Killer Pimp) 2007










#4
Antony & the Johnson
-I Am a Bird Now (Secrectly Canadian) 2005








#5
Blonde Redhead
-
Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons

(Touch & Go) 2000






#6
The Faint
-Danse Macabre
(Saddle Creek) 2001





 



#7
The White Stripes
-White Blood Cells
(Warner Brothers) 2001




 



#8
Sufjan Stevens
-Illinoise
(Asthmatic Kitty) 2005




 



#9
Idlewild
-100 Broken Windows
(Capitol) 2000




 




#10
Bloc Party
-Silent Alarm (Vice) 2005




 




Radiohead-Kid A (Capitol) 2000





 




The Strokes-Is This It (RCA) 2001




 




The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
-
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart

(Slumberland) 2009




 





MGMT-Oracular Spectacular
(Columbia) 2008





 






XX-XX (XL Recordings) 2009





 



Cat Power-You Are Free (Matador) 2003





 




The Knife
-Silent Shout (Mute) 2006




 




Hercules & Love Affair-
Hercules & Love Affair

(Mute) 2008




 





Jens Lekman-Night Falls Over Kortedala (Secretly Canadian) 2007




 




Patrick Wolf-Lycanthropy (Tomlab) 2004






 




The Postal Service-Give Up
(Sub Pop) 2003




 




M83
-Saturdays=Youth (Mute) 2008




 




Thieves Like Us-Play Music
(Shelflife) 2009





 




Explosions In the Sky
-
All Of a Sudden I Miss Everybody

(Temporary Residence) 2007





 




Daft Punk
-Discovery (Virgin) 2001




 




Arcade Fire-Funeral (Merge) 2004









Interpol
-Turn On the Bright Lights (Matador) 2002









Burial
-Untrue (Hyperdub) 2007










Black Heart Procession
-3
(Touch & Go) 2000









The National
-Boxer
(Beggars Banquet) 2007









Lily Allen-Alright Still (Capitol) 2007










Phoenix
-United (Astralwerks) 2000










At the Drive-In
-Relationship of Command
(Fearless) 2000









The Murder City Devils
-In Name & Blood
(Sub Pop) 2000









Placebo
-Sleeping With Ghosts (Astralwerks) 2003









Junior Boys
-So this is Goodbye
(Domino) 2006









Radio Dept.
-Pet Grief (Labrador) 2006









The Drums
-Summertime!
(Holiday Records) 2009









Peaches
-Teaches of Peaches
(Matador) 2000








TV on the Radio
-
Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes
(Touch & Go) 2004









Booka Shade-The Sun & the Neon Light (Get Physical) 2008








Telefon Tel Aviv-Immolate Yourself
(Bpitch Control) 2009









Studio
-West Coast (Information) 2007









The Teenagers
-Reality Check
(XL Recordings) 2008








M.I.A.
-Kala (Interscope) 2007










Bon Iver
-For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar) 2008









My Morning Jacket
-Z (ATO) 2005










Jose Gonzalez
-In Our Nature (Mute) 2007









The Gossip
-
Standing in the Way of Control

(Kill Rock Stars) 2006









Fever Ray
-Fever Ray (Mute) 2009









Silversun Pickups
-Swoon
(Dangerbird) 2009








The Killers
-Hot Fuss (Island) 2004










The Mars Volta
-
De-Loused In the Comatorium
(Universal) 2003






Arctic Monkeys
-
Whatever People Say
I Am,
That's What I'm Not
(Domino) 2006








The Decemberists
-Picaresque
(Kill Rock Stars) 2005









Belle & Sebastian
-The Life Pursuit (Matador) 2006








PJ Harvey
-
Stories From the City,
Stories From the Sea

(Island) 2000








Iron & Wine
-The Shepherd's Dog
(Sub Pop) 2007









Okkervil River
-Stage Names
(Jagjaguwar) 2007









Fleet Foxes
-Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop) 2008










Beirut
-Gulag Orkestar (Ba Da Bing!) 2006










Shout Out Louds-Our Ill Wills
(Merge) 2007










Ryan Adams
-Rock N Roll
(Lost Highway) 2003









Muse
-Absolution (Warner Brothers) 2003










Franz Ferdinand
-Franz Ferdinand (Domino) 2004









CSS
-Cansei De Ser Sexy (Sub Pop) 2006










Lightspeed Champion
-
Falling Off the Lavender Bridge

(Domino) 2008








!!!
-Louden Up Now (Touch & Go) 2004









Death Cab For Cutie
-Photo Album (Barsuk) 2001








Bat For Lashes
-Fur & Gold
(Caroline) 2007










Crystal Castles
-Crystal Castles
(Last Gang) 2008









Max Richter
-Blue Notebooks
(Fat Cat) 2004









Jonas Reinhardt
-Jonas Reinhardt (Kranky) 2008









Manual
-Azure Vista (Darla) 2005










Ulrich Schnauss
-Goodbye (Domino) 2007










Sally Shapiro
-Disco Romance (Diskokaine) 2007









Gonzalez & Russom
-The Days of Mars (Astralwerks) 2005









Grouper-Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill (Type) 2008









Pictureplane-Dark Rift
(Lovepump United) 2009









Justice
-Cross (Vice) 2007










The Daysleepers
-
Drowned in a Sea of Sound

(Clairecords) 2008








The Legends
-Public Radio
(Labrador) 2006









Memory Tapes
-Seek Magic
(Pod/Inertia) 2009









Gravenhurst-Western Lands (Warp) 2007










Cursive
-Ugly Organ (Saddle Creek) 2003








Los Campesinos
-
We Are Beautiful We Are Doomed

(Arts & Crafts) 2008









The Big Pink
-Brief History of Love
(4AD) 2009








Friendly Fires-Friendly Fires (XL) 2008









Pelle Carlberg
-In a Nutshell
(Labrador) 2007









Godspeed You Black Emperor!
-
Lift Yr Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven

(Kranky) 2000










Grace Jones-Hurricane
(Wall of Sound) 2008










Mogwai-Rock Action (Matador) 2001










Xiu Xiu-Fabulous Muscles
(Five Rue Christine) 2004









Cold Cave-Love Comes Close
(Matador) 2009








Mew-And the Glass Handed Kites (Columbia) 2006










Dead Man's Bones-Dead Man's Bones (Anti) 2009










Maria Taylor-Lynn Teeter Flower
(Saddle Creek) 2007









Deastro-Moondagger
(Ghostly International) 2009









My Vitriol-Finelines (Epic) 2001









Sun Kill Moon-
Ghosts of the Great Highway
(Caldo Verde) 2003







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