12 Albums to Watch for this Summer

Posted by Amoebite, July 14, 2016 01:39pm | Post a Comment

12 Albums to Watch For This Summer

Summer is in full swing, and the weather is hot -- but these albums might be even hotter! Check out our twelve albums to watch for this summer to create the perfect soundtrack for pool parties, road trips, and lazy days at the beach.

Hole - Live Through This

Hole - Live Through This

Out July 29

Hole's second album is finally getting a vinyl reissue! Never before available on wax in the US, the LP features some of the band's most-loved songs, "Miss World," "Doll Parts" and "Violet." Check out Courtney Love & co's classic video for "Doll Parts" below.

Cheena - Spend the Night With...

Cheena - Spend the Night with...

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Lou Barlow

Posted by Amoebite, October 15, 2013 06:14pm | Post a Comment

Lou Barlow

How many rockers do you know can say they started a band, signed a deal and became rockstars? Not too many right? Lou Barlow is on a very short list of rockers who can say they left a successful group to find more success with a new band. Reminds me of guy from a small Seattle band named Nirvana who went on to create another small band named the Foo Fighters. He's on the list too.

Often cited as a pioneer of the lo-fi sound, Lou Barlow is the founder of two of the most influential indie rock bands of the 1980s and ‘90s, Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh. He has gone on to produce many side projects including the band Folk Implosion whose single, "Natural One,"  hit #4 on Bilboard's Modern Rock Charts in 1995.

Barlow stopped by the Amoeba Hollywood store for another awesome "What's In My Bag?" episode. It's always great to see your favorite rockers shop for vinyl! To Lou's delight, he digs up a 12 inch single of Blotto's "I Want To Be a Lifeguard." He also snags Ty Segall's Singles 2007-10 LP that comes with a free digital download. Barlow also finds a lost new wave gem from his teens, The Elevators' Frontline.

Continue reading...

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.

Beach House – Lazuli
I wrote a really dumb review of this song before, but safe to say the new song from Beach House’s upcoming Bloom (preorder Bloom here) is every bit as amazing as fans would hope, given the upward trajectory of the band’s albums: their self-titled first release, Devotion and Teen Dream. It’s just so effortlessly lush and breathtaking. To quote “My So-Called Life,” “You’re so beautiful, it hurts to look at you.”

Dinosaur Jr. – Electronic Anthology Project
Built to Spill bassist Brett Nelson, who started Electronic Anthology Project to reimagine Built to Spill songs with new wave aesthetics, gives the same treatment to Dinosaur Jr. A curio, for sure, but a must-have for fans of the band. Digging the twinkly version of “Pond Song” and of course the New Order-ish take on “Feel the Pain.” Listen to “Tarpit” below.

Feist/Mastodon Feistodon
This is one of those things you wish would happen more often: Canadian indie-pop chanteuse Feist and hipster metal dudes Mastodon cover each other. I’m not sure what the songs will actually end up sounding like, but I love the idea and that they were all willing to take the chance and not take themselves so seriously.

flaming lips record store dayThe Flaming Lips – Flaming Lips & Heady Fwends
One listen to “Ashes in the Air,” a duet with Bon Iver — and the fact that Ke$ha will be on this, and that a few very limited copies of the release will include the band members’ and collaborators’ blood —  makes this release notable and notably strange, even by Flaming Lips’ high standards in both quality and weirdness. And speaking of Mastodon earlier, check out the Flaming Lips/Mastodon split as well, in which Mastodon covers Flaming Lips’ beautifully wimpy “A Spoonful Weighs a Ton.” LOL to everyone involved with all of this!

Sigur Rós – Hvarf/Heim
This vinyl version of an earlier release features a disc of studio versions of songs that were almost entirely previously unavailable, plus a disc of acoustic versions of Sigur Rós songs. This oughta whet fans’ appetites for the band’s upcoming new release, Valtari (preorder Valtari here), out May 29; I, for one, am pretty excited about the band once again, after hearing the gorgeous “Ekki Múkk,” which reminds me of my favorite Sigur Rós album, ( ).

sacred bonesVarious Artists – Sacred Bones Presents Vol. 2
The label behind Crystal Stilts, The Men and more present another awesome sampler. Just looking at the artists on it, this one’s a no-brainer.

Various Artists – Smuggler’s Way
This Ribbon Music/Domino comp. features a killer new John Maus song, “No Title (Molly),” plus songs from Real Estate, Cass McCombs and more.

xiu xiu dirty beachesXiu Xiu/Dirty Beaches split
An unholiest of pairings, and two of my personal favorites — the frighteningly personal post-punk of Xiu Xiu and haunting lo-fi rockabilly of Dirty Beaches — on one disc. Xiu Xiu covers the almost painfully bright synth pop jam “Always” by Erasure, one of the weirdest tracks to dominate pop radio in the guitar-heavy ’90s, and Dirty Beaches lend their din to ubercool, iconic French singer Françoise Hardy’s “Tu Ne Dis Rien.”  David Lynch is smiling.

Speaking of whom, David Lynch Foundation and Amoeba Hollywood are throwing a Record Store Day party across the street at Space15Twenty (1520 North Cahuenga Blvd.) from 6 to 8 p.m. (show up there at 5 to get your wristband). The party features live performances from Ben Lee, Geeta Novotny and Phil Soussan, plus DJs Gary Calamar (89.9 KCRW) and Mimi Chen (100.3 The Sound).


Celebrate Amoeba's 20th Anniversary! Part 4 - Some of Our Most Memorable Instores

Posted by Amoebite, November 12, 2010 01:06pm | Post a Comment

This month we are celebrating 20 years of Amoeba! It's our anniversary! And one of the ways we wanted to celebrate was by highlighting here for you some of our best, most memorable instores of all time! We have been so lucky over the years -- we've hosted shows, signings and events with Paul McCartney, Queens of the Stone Age, The Shins, Flight of the Conchords, John Waters, The Gossip and zillions more. You can find video footage and interviews from many of our instores right here! Read on to find out what three of our most seasoned instore reviewers thought were some of our very greatest.

But first, get further immersed in our 20th Anniversary! To check out our first Anniversary blog post, with testimonials from some of our favorite customers,
click here! Our second Anniversary post is an interview with co-owner Marc Weinstein about getting the Berkeley store off the ground all the way back in 1990 and what Amoeba means to him. Read it right here. Our third Anniversary post includes Top 10 lists from some of our old skool employees -- click here to check out their favorites in music and movies from the past 20 years!

License to Confuse: Lou Barlow

Posted by Miss Ess, October 13, 2009 05:24pm | Post a Comment

Lou Barlow
's songs were the background music to my college experience. Actually, they were more than the background music...they were more like little saviors, tiny gems that made life a bit more bearable when things got complicated and rough. Barlow's music both described and assuaged situations I found myself surrounded with and confronting back then.

These were also my days of extreme lo-fi appreciation, and Lou was one of the musicians at the apex of my admiration. His songs were so naked. They felt real. His openness was so plain, both in music and words. Those songs were soft and hard at the same time, gentle yet defiant, the perfect combination of sweet melody and roughness -- the way so much of the best music is. I spent a lot of time with my Sebadoh records on repeat in those days, and Lou's contributions were the ones that resounded the most.

A few years ago, I met him here at Amoeba, back when Dinosaur Jr had an (awesome) instore. It was a memorable day, but my sudden nerves around him are something I kinda want to forget! Despite the fact that it'd been years since I'd even listened to those Sebadoh records, it all was still right there and fresh in my mind. Though I was directly involved with getting the band set up and onstage, I barely spoke to or even looked at Lou (which I actually think he appreciated), and in no way even attempted to even engage him in regular conversation, let alone pass on how much his music had meant to me at an important time in my life. Instead, I gabbed away with J Mascis about cereal. Yup.

Sometimes I think things are better left unsaid, and when it comes to these things, that is truly always the case. Better to talk to someone else about breakfast food and enjoy the music.

Back in the day, in my nerdiest moments, I thought Lou had the most perfect indie rock boy times change! Thank goodness I've moved on in my hair style preferences, but I have not forgotten how simply great his songs are.

I had never seen these videos till today...

"Rebound" -- a resounding anthem for collegiate romance:

This vid and song are particularly amazing! It's "Ocean":

Finally, rot-your-teeth-sweet "Willing To Wait":