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50 Essential Albums Released in 2013

Posted by Aaron Detroit, November 30, 2013 02:45pm | Post a Comment

Aaron Detroit, Buyer at Amoeba Hollywood. I've worked in Hollywood for nine years, but started my time with Amoeba - way back in 1998 -  at the San Francisco store. Here is my extensive list of new essential listening, released in 2013. There is a wide range of genres and artists represented here because musical passion shouldn't be static!

1. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual
The Knife Shaking the Habitual    


After a seven-year hiatus (not including 2010’s collaborative opera with Matt Sims and Planningtorock,) the Swedish sister/brother duo crafted something utterly singular with this sprawling, conceptual, yet immensely thrilling triple-LP. Habitual lyrically challenges gender constructs and unchecked privilege against visceral (and sometimes monstrous) techno that also refuses any box you throw over it. 

 

These New Puritans Field of Reeds



2. These New Puritans - Field of Reeds
   
 No guitars, no dubstep breaks, no angular post-punk posturing. Jack Barnett & Co. look to 20th century composers and Fado for inspiration on their third LP. Woodwinds, brass, field recordings, a magnetic resonator piano and additional vocals from Portuguese vocalist Elisa Rodrigues move TNP into a whole other category of artist, far away from the faceless NME hordes they once mingled with. 
 
3. David Bowie - The Next Day
 
 David Bowie The Next DayQuite honestly, it’s his best since his last great LP --33 years ago--Scary Monsters. This isn’t anything but Bowie being himself, but the emotional weight of his lyrics give the new tracks a vitality missing from much of his work in the previous decade. It’s exhilarating throughout, with most of his famous tropes (Space!!) sounding somehow fresh. New classics like the title track, “Dirty Boys,” the Scott Walker-nodding “Heat,” plus the stellar Bowie-doing-Morrissey-doing-his-best-Bowie moment on “You Feel So Lonely You Could Die.” 
 

Holden The Inheritors

Comparing Bowie's and Hadfield's Versions of "Space Oddity"

Posted by Billyjam, May 14, 2013 11:54am | Post a Comment

Commander Chris Hadfield "Space Oddity" (2013)

Talk about a viral video! When I first viewed the above YouTube video of astronaut Chris Hatfield's outer space version of David Bowie's classic "Space Oddity" on Sunday, the day it was first uploaded, it had something like 200,000 views which was pretty impressive. But now, only two days later, it is almost at seven million YouTube views! That is almost the same number that David Bowie's original 1969 video version of his song  has racked up since it was uploaded to YouTube seven years ago. But the reason no doubt for the viral success of the new revised version of "Space Oddity" is understandable.

Not only is it a genuine spaceman the perfect person to cover this Bowie song but wow, what an amazing spectacle that Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station can share from his unique vantage point in outer space. Just as important is that Hadfield is a pretty darn good singer and truly does the song justice, regardless of who and/or where he is. For proof compare his version above with Bowie's version below. Meanwhile you can buy Bowie's rendition of his own song (both live and studio versions) directly from Amoeba available on various releses including the 2009 release Space Oddity (40th Anniversary) LP version.

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Record Store Day Countdown: 45s

Posted by Amoebite, April 18, 2013 06:59pm | Post a Comment

Record Store Day is almost here! Check out these mouth-watering limited, exclusive 45s... remastered Zappa single available on vinyl for the first time in 40 years; Pink Floyd on pink wax; an amazing David Bowie "Drive-In Saturday" picture disc; and the Rolling Stones 5x5 EP, re-pressed for the first time since 1964! You're gonna have to line up early for these. See you on Saturday for RSD13!

Download our menu (.pdf) of exclusive Record Store Day titles available on April 20, 2013.

See our list of events and happenings at all three stores on RSD.

Record Store Day 45s

 

Celebrate Record Store Day at Amoeba

20 Essential Records You Need on Vinyl

Posted by Billy Gil, April 10, 2013 09:21am | Post a Comment

20 Essential Records You Need on Vinyl

Use the promo code vinyl10 to get 10% off any new and used vinyl on Amoeba.com.


In honor of the upcoming Record Store Day, I decided to make a list of 20 records I think everyone should own on vinyl. Take this Record Store Day to build a nice foundation for your record collection. I picked this list based on pretty arbitrary criteria, including what critics generally think are great, what I think is great, what I think particularly sounds good on analog-warm vinyl, and what you won’t have to pay $100 for or scour for (e.g. no hard-to-find ’90s vinyl or things out of print). I also left it to one album per artist. These aren't in any particular order. Send any omissions to this list to idontcare@makeyourownlist.com. Or just leave a comment!

The Beatles Revolver

The Beatles – Revolver
 

In my mind, The White Album is the greatest Beatles album, but you can’t beat the utterly perfect one-disc punch of Revolver. It should go without saying that every Beatles album is essential and is worth owning on vinyl yadda yadda, but if you have to start somewhere, do it here. Their catalog was recently reissued on vinyl in stereo mix, so you should have no trouble finding them if you’re just starting out — and you should have no trouble finding quality replacements, if your old Beatles LPs are worn out.

Albums Out March 12: My Bloody Valentine, David Bowie, Girls Names and More

Posted by Billy Gil, March 12, 2013 11:09am | Post a Comment

Album Picks:

My Bloody Valentine - mbv

MBVCD $22.98

LP $34.98

One of the greatest guitar bands ever finally delivers a new album after 22 years of false starts and promises. If you're looking for another Loveless, move on. mbv is its own beast. It's an acquired taste, just like the rest of their records, starting with a familiar, melodic first third; turning to a more ethereal and beat-driven middle third, featuring Belinda Butcher's ever-heavenly vocals; and finishing with a punishing, noise-rock final third that explores the extreme scope of Kevin Shields' mangled-guitar sound. Within this scope, mbv delivers as many moments that will challenge its cult following as well as delight them. Opener “She Found Now” is as classic My Bloody Valentine as the album gets, with a soft focus wash of guitar sound, a gentle pulse of drums relegated to the background and whispered vocals lapping overhead, achieving a similar feel to Loveless’ “Sometimes.” “Only Tomorrow” aims for the gut, with chainsaw guitars not unlike those found on Isn’t Anything, which in retrospect rivals Loveless for innovative sound. The songs aren’t exactly poppy, but they offer new, thrilling hooks — the way the guitars halt like a bullet train at full speed suddenly stopping in “Only Tomorrow” ranks high in the band’s moments of pop mastery. “Who Sees You” rounds out the album’s first third with scenic, shiver-inducing guitars that shame any followers in their wake — plenty of bands have dissected the My Bloody Valentine guitar sound, but few have been able to wield it in the unconventional, multidimensional ways Shields does, turning odd directions, doubling back and somehow coming together in a way that can’t be fully comprehended at first, but is eminently intoxicating. The record gets progressively more difficult from there, but fans will grow to love songs like the watery “If I Am” and especially the bouncing “New You,” a shoegaze pop song in the proud tradition of Loveless’ “Soon” with a heavy fuzz-bass thud that knocks you flat. “In Another Way” grinds its guitars into a blender of sounds that emerges with a sweet, instrumental portion that sends the song sailing. “Nothing Is” loops brutal, chugging guitars with a heavy jungle beats that doesn’t relent for three-and-a-half minutes, leading into closer “Wonder 2,” which sounds like the inside of tornado. With spiraling arrangements that draw you in on multiple listens, mbv is subtly rewarding and offers new revelations with each listen.

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