Amoeblog

out today 10/20 & 10/27...bauhaus...sufjan stevens...pylon...maps...flight of the conchords...

Posted by Brad Schelden, November 5, 2009 05:24pm | Post a Comment
pylon chomp
Time seems to be flying by so fast as we get close to the end of the year. I really do love this time of year and hate that it goes by so fast. As soon as October begins it seems to end. Halloween has come and gone and Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year's Eve will be here and gone before we know it. The music releases will start to slow down in November and December but there are still some great albums coming out. We have a new fantastically great reissue from the fantastically great band Pylon. I can't believe it has already been two years since their last reissue, but it's true! I was about to do a whole blog about Pylon but it was sounding a bit familiar as I was thinking about it in my head. That is because I already did a whole blog about them two years ago. Pylon's first album, Gyrate, was reissued by DFA two years ago on October 16, 2007. You can go back and read my blog here if you want. I just went back and read it myself. I was amazed what I had forgotten over the last couple of years and actually learned something myself. Pylon was great. You may not know that. I sure didn't know anything about them until 2 years ago when that first reissue came out. DFA has now reissued their seconpylon chompd album, called Chomp. It is equally as great as the first one. And I love how they recreate the LP artwork for the CD reissue along with the worn in imprint from the vinyl. Pylon was a new wave band from Athens, Georgia, but they have a darker sound than fellow Athens groups the B-52's and R.E.M. They remind me of Siouxsie & the Banshees at times, mixed with the Motels and Romeo Void. Basically, you can just think of any fantastic female led new wave band and mix them all up together and you get Pylon. The band toured a bit with Gang Of Four and also sound like them at times. This second album is at times dark and gothy and at times just a dark sort of punk. I like to think of them as Athens Goth. Seriously. These songs would not be out of place at a death rock night at any club. Good stuff. I really did love that first reissue but had sort of forgotten about Pylon until now. I was so excited when I heard that their second album was also getting reissued. I went and listened to that first reissue again to get myself ready. The second reissue does not disappoint.

Also out this week are two reissues from the great Bauhaus. While I had never been a fan of Pylon until that first reissue, I have for sure always been a long time fan of Bauhaus. Unlike Pylon, they of course made it on the radio in Los Angeles and were a much bigger deal. However, I didn't really get into Bauhaus until way after I discovered my love of Siouxsie & the Banshees. Peter Murphy and Bauhaus were sort of the male equivalent of Siouxsie & the Banshees. I first got really into The Cure and Depeche Mode, but Siouxise quickly followed. I think I actually bought a Love & Rockets album before buying a Bauhaus album. Bauhaus broke up in 1983, and that was still years before I had ever heard of them, so it was only natural for me to first become a Love & Rockets fan first. My first Love & Rockets album was Earth, Sun, Moon in 1987. "No New Tale to Tell" was all over the radio and most of us were in love with that song. This was their third album. I then got really obsessed with their fourth self titled album that came out in 1989. From there I went backwards and discovered the Bauhaus albums that had come before Love & Rockets.

The first two Bauhaus albums are getting the nice remastered reissue treatment this week. In the Flat Field was their first album from 1980 and Mask was their second album from 1981. In the Flat Field is often thought of as the first Goth album to ever be released. It included "Double Dare," "In the Flat Field," "God in an Alcove," and "St. Vitus Dance." The album was re-released by 4AD in 1988 with bonus tracks. This reissue included "Dark Entries," "Terror Couple Kill Colonel," and "Telegram Sam." Even though Mask came out after In the Flat Field I always think of it as being their first album. It was the first album I owned by them and I still have my original cassette. It included "The Passion of Lovers," "Kick in the Eye," and "Hollow Hills." Bauhaus really only had 2 more albums after this until their reunion album from last year. The Sky's Gone Out came out in 1982, followed by Burning From the Inside in 1983. I am sure these albums will both have reissues out at some point next year. The reissues out this week are called the Omnibus Editions. They feature the original albums along with a disc of bonus tracks, outtakes, and alternate recordings. They also come with large booklets with new photos and interviews and come packaged in a cute, odd shaped box that is a bit longer than the normal size CD. The packaging looks great and it is always exciting to have remastered versions of some of your old favorite albums. I don't think I had ever even heard Mask on anything but a cassette before now! The albums are as dark and fantastic ever. They remind me of why I fell in love with Bauhaus. Peter Murphy as a solo artist could never quite recapture the brilliance that was Bauhuas. I doubt there will ever be anything like these albums again.


also out 10/20...







Logos by Atlas Sound











Love Is Not Pop by El Perro Del Mar










I Told You I Was Freaky by Flight of the Conchords











Lungs by Florence & the Machine











Tarot Sport by Fuck Buttons











Turning the Mind by Maps











BQE by Sufjan Stevens











Fits by White Denim







also out 10/27...





Black Ice by AC/DC











Broadcast & the Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age by Broadcast










Opiate Sun by Jesu











Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Undead by Sean Lennon















Dolly Box Set by Dolly Parton
















Strict Joy by Swell Season











Unlimited Box Set by Barry White



Noblesse Oblige: 'Offensive Nonsense' Gets Reissue

Posted by Aaron Detroit, September 30, 2009 03:00pm | Post a Comment
Thank the fates for the explosion of deluxe edition reissues! While some serve as mere cash cows for record labels with unnecessary previously-unreleased-for-a-reason vault-raping bonus tracks for nerds, many give previously overlooked gems and obscure nuggets a proper introduction to music fans. Such is the case for the limited edition deluxe reissue of the Berlin-based Noblesse Oblige’s mischievous debut album. In 2006, the then London-based duo of German singer/songwriter/producer Sebastian Lee Philipp and French singer/songwriter Valerie Renay released a small-run of their debut LP entitled Privilege Entails Responsibility, via the obscure and now-defunct UK imprint Horseglue Records. The album of nighttime grooves and tri-lingual self-proclaimed ‘Offensive Nonsense’ slowly gained a cult following via hundreds of increasingly packed European live shows and steady word-of-mouth. The band eventually moved to Berlin and began work on what would become their well received, more accessible and quite excellent sophomore LP, 2008’s In Exile via Germany’s RepoRecords. On the heels of Exile’s success, Repo is reissuing Privilege this week with ten(!) bonus tracks including two brand new forward-moving tracks and padded out with eight additional remixes.

While In Exile explores the band’s love of dreamier and filmic music (which no doubt rubbed-off on queer indie-rockers The Hidden Cameras, whom Philipp worked with on tracks for their recent lush offering, Origin: Orphan), Privilege is an inviting and darkly comic (sometimes even knowingly ridiculous) yet misanthropic and intense ride via the Goth and Waver club dance floors of yester-year. Philipp pays homage to his fellow countrymen KMFDM on “Bite Back“ and “Bitch” with big cheese-rock riffs and tongue firmly planted in cheek while somehow remaining quite serious and sincere. “Fashion Fascism” sounds like it could be a cover of Madonna’s “Burning Up” on some obscure late-80’s Wax Trax 12 inch while Philipp invokes the spirit of Leigh Bowery on “Daddy (Don’t Touch Me There).” Sadly, the Minty-commissioned Noblesse Oblige cover/remix of Bowery’s “Useless Man,” which appeared as the b-side of N.O.’s single for the bouncy “Quel Genre de Garcon,” does not appear among the bonus tracks here.

Continue reading...

The Big Pink and A Place To Bury Strangers Heart Feedback

Posted by Aaron Detroit, September 22, 2009 05:00pm | Post a Comment
If the gentlemen of London’s The Big Pink and New York’s A Place To Bury Strangers are to have their way this fall – you will have a serious case of tinnitus by Winter Solstice via their dark-veined noise-pop. Both bands love the volume loud, worship at the alters of 80’s Gloom-Pop and early-‘90’s Shoegaze, and both have new releases out in the next month. While both bands paint with Kevin Shields’s and Daniel Ash’s brush-strokes each band shades their canvas quite differently and uniquely.

The Big Pink signed to cult-label 4AD this year. The team-up couldn’t have been a better fit as the duo’s tunes could slide in nicely in a playlist alongside tracks from the label’s 80’s and 90’s roster of ethereal and gothic-leaning releases. They also share with their predecessors a keen eye and love
for packaging their music -– a dying art form for sure --adding dimensions to the music and an additional keyhole into the universe the band has created within their sound. The band’s pre-4AD releases of dead-sexy lo-fi electro vs. feedback bliss-outs were accompanied by homoerotic and ethereal sleeve artwork by Dennis Cooper (The duo also borrowed the title for their song “Frisk” from Cooper). The band’s newly polished, less-amorphous and refined sound (courtesy of major league mixing-czar Rich Costey) featured on their debut LP, A Brief History of Love, is issued with a murky, blurred and slightly unsettling cover photo of a bare-chested woman - insinuating and helping inject a similarly subversive sexual tone of their indie releases into the hazy pools of stoned reverb and romantic wistful grooves of the new album.

There has been some debate amongst critics and fans about the band’s credibility and authenticity due to the band’s big-time connections; Singer Robbie Furze is a former paramour of Lily Allen and spent time playing guitar for Digital Hardcore Founder, Alec Empire. Milo Cordell (who plays everything Furze doesn’t) comes from a music biz family. Cordell’s Father is Producer Denny Cordell, most famous for producing Moody Blues’s first album and Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale.” Also, prior to establishing The Big Pink, Cordell founded the label Merok Records, which released some of the earliest rumblings by hipster magnates Klaxons and Crystal Castles. Ultimately, the band delivers fully on the promise of their stellar pre-album singles and one would be best served to ignore the members’ pedigree and associations for one true, full spin of the LP, a wonderfully rewarding listening experience, especially for fans of the “classic” 4AD-era.


Brooklynites A Place To Bury Strangers’ approach to their Shoegaze-y Pop Psychedelia is much more aggressive, in-the-red and less doped-out than Big Pink’s turn. APTBS release an outstanding follow up to their most excellent self-titled debut next month. Exploding Head, their first full-length for Mute, has a justified title as it is a taut set of 10 high-strung sonic assaults and dripping-wet-in-a-cave songs in just under 43 minutes. The band can shift seamlessly between intense “You Made Me Realise”-esque moments to murky JAMC slink and jangly New Order-informed pop. The track “Everything Always Goes Wrong” creates a sinister and menacing atmosphere that evokes a lo-fi but melodic Death Rock or Black Metal song played by a fired-up Spacemen 3, all before serving up a bouncing Cure bass line for the title track. APTBS also share the “whole-package” approach with Big Pink; Exploding Head’s cover art looks like a pixilated aerial scan of terra firma busting apart. The minimal image’s suggestion plays well with the ear-scorch of the band’s relentless attack. Unlike The Big Pink, there is no controversy about the APTBS’s legitimacy. Mainman Oliver Ackerman spent time in a Virginia-based neo-Shoegazer band called Skywave
with a small but loyal cult-following (whose other members went on to form the similarly noisy and wonderful Ceremony) and spends his down-time from APTBS selling his increasingly successful line of hand-wired effects pedals, Death By Audio.


The Big Pink’s A Brief History of Love is in stores today (9/22) and A Place To Bury Strangers’ Expoding Head follows in two weeks on October 6th. Be Sure to pop in to Amoeba Hollywood for the limited vinyl edition of Brief History which boasts a bonus colored 12” featuring the Gang Gang Dance remix of Big Pink’s gorgeous single, “Velvet.” These will likely go fast!


Amoeba Hollywood’s Goth/Industrial Section Featured New Releases Week of 9/22:


Spectre -
10 Pezzi Facili (Ten Easy Tunes) CD [Old Europa Cafe] .
The second solo album from Marcello Fraioli, vocalist and guitarist for cult ritual/folk outfit  AIN SOPH. Minimal orchestrations of prog , folk, new wave, Italian cabaret, and poetry collide on this tight set. Includes one Ain Soph reinterpretation plus cool covers of Franco Battiato's "Magick Shop," Francesco Guccini's "L'Avvelenata", as well as John Barry's "The Persuaders." Recommended.

Habitat -
Code Grey CD [Self-Released]
A higly recommended, extremely limited release of 100(!) copies by L.A. dark and esoteric noisemeisters/soundscapists, Habitat. Fans of Coil and Cyclobe should jump at this gorgeous sophomore release from one of Los Angeles's most promising and unique acts!


In Next Week, Amoeba Hollywood:

The long-awaited archival release from the seminal beginnings of Throbbing Gristle members Genisis P-Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti will FINALLY be in stock by next week!

Clan Of Xymox -Emily CDEP [Metropolis]
The classic dark-wave band celebrates its 25th anniversary with this CDEP featuring an exclusive B-Side and remixes of the the group's club hit "Emily" culled from their 2009 comeback album In Love We Trust.


Still Fresh...


Psyclon Nine - We The Fallen CD [Metropolis] The Aggro-Electro act returns its darkest, most aggressive album to date. EVIL!

My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult - Death Threat CD [Sleazebox]
Still dark n' sleazy after all these years! Thrill Kill Kult's 13th studio release!

6Comm - Like Stukas Angels Fall: Retrospect 1984 -1990 CD [Kenaz]
Re-recorded album of classic tracks featuring songs from the early 6Comm period and also a few tracks from his previous work in Death in June. Electro - Folk - Classical - Martial - Experimental -- 16 great songs, including new versions of "Torture Garden" and "Carousel" with new vocal sections. Nice gold foil blocked Digipak!

Jessie Evans - Is It Fire? LIMITED LP/CD [Fantomette]
Former Subtonix/The Vanishing/Autonervous member finally goes solo. Features appearances by Budgie (Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Creatures) and Toby Dammit (Swans, Iggy Pop).


Beatles or Stones?... or Goth-Pop Beatles Covers!?

Posted by Aaron Detroit, September 5, 2009 12:50am | Post a Comment

Beatles Or Stones?” I’m one of those people who is definitely more Rolling Stones than Beatles. That’s not to say there aren’t Fab Four songs or albums I enjoy or even adore (White Album!), but The Stones suit my tastes and aesthetic preferences in music and art much more. The Stones have a classically debaucherous mythos attached to them and their vibe was always darker, nastier and convincingly Satanic compared to their Liverpool rivals.  True: The Beatles certainly had their more nefarious moments (“Helter Skelter,” “Happiness is a Warm Gun,” The Butcher Cover and Aleister Crowley's appeance on the Sgt, Peppers' album sleeve), but I’m definitely more “Paint It Black” than “Good Day Sunshine.”

However, some people still believe The Beatles held the keys to the infernal gates of Hell. Certainly several of my teenage Goth-Pop icons saw a dark thread in the Beatles' work (or maybe it was just their genius for unforgettable melodies – those do help bands cross-over!) Siouxsie Sioux’s devotion to the Fab Four turned out two great covers; first, an incendiary and punked-out “Helter Skelter” on the Banshees’ 1978 debut Scream:



...and the band scored one of their biggest International hits with their lush 1983 reading of “Dear Prudence.”


Banshees’ contemporary Daniel Ash (Bauhaus/Tones on Tail/Love & Rockets) displayed his shine for John, Paul, George and Ringo via a (now somewhat-dated) cover of “Day Tripper” on his 1991 solo album, Coming Down.


And the ultimate in Beatles gothic tribute/piss-taking is awarded to Slovenian Industrial-rock godfathers Laibach. In 1988 the group released a camp-yet-dry, near track-by-track cover album of The Beatles’ swansong Let It Be (strangely omitting the title-track). The band even scored a somewhat hit with their oddlly lovely rendition of “Across The Universe.”


The Beatles do ultimately get mega-points from me for saving their namesake and legacy from tarnish by disbanding before the 1970’s could force them into coked-out disco and before the 80’s could force them into ill-advised fluorescent suits and Aqua-net do’s, just like my preferred Stones.

With that said, I am genuinely excited about revisiting and reappraising The Beatles' Catalog when brand-spanking-new remastered editions (especially those limited Mono mixes!) are released on the ominous date of 9/9/09.

Dais Records Unearths COUM Transmissions

Posted by Aaron Detroit, August 11, 2009 04:00am | Post a Comment

Bicoastal boutique label Dais Records --founded in 2007 by Gibby Miller in L.A. and Ryan Martin in Brooklyn -- has, in its brief history, quickly amassed (with no signs of stopping) an impressive back-catalog of instantly classic releases by artists on the obscure and dark end of the spectrum. The label’s roster of quality limited vinyl pressings includes albums by Cult of Youth and Tor Lundvall as well as the sought-after Cold Cave 12”, The Trees Grew Emotions and Died.  The label has also developed a trusted working relationship with Genesis Breyer P-Orridge which has resulted in the vinyl release of Psychic TV’s recent full-length, Mr. Alien Brain vs. The Skinwalkers, and a haunting, previously unreleased 1968(!) archival recording from P-Orridge entitled Early Worm (now out of print).  

A third upcoming team-up between P-Orridge and Dais is another archival release, entitled The Sound of Porridge Bubbling by the infamous COUM Transmissions. Its release will mark the first time most will hear COUM Transmissions, a transgressive performance art collective and band founded, in part, by P-Orridge in 1967 (whose detailed story can be read in a 1999 illustrated biiography entitled Wreckers of Civilisation by Simon Ford). By the time Sound was recorded in 1971 its members also included Cosey Fanni-Tutti and, by 1976, eventually evolved into the seminal and forever holy/unholy Throbbing Gristle.
 
The recordings went unreleased until now due to the rapid activity of the collective pushing them off as a priority.  However, now that the seal on the vault has been cracked, further COUM archive releases via Dais are also in the works .

The Sound of Porridge Bubbling (complete with  liner notes by Genesis!) will be available very soon from Amoeba Hollywood. The Hollywood store has secured several copies of this already sold-out and landmark release and will have them on hand as soon as the label gets them from the plant!
 
Other Current Dais Records Releases In Stock, Amoeba Hollywood:

Tor Lundvall - Sleeping and Hiding
Dreamy bliss in the vein of Talk Talk’s later stuff and Slowdive’s Pygmalion.

Awen - The Bells Before Dawn
American Dark Ambient/Neofolk.

Psychic TV - Mr. Alien Brain vs. The Skinwalkers
Excellent 2008 return of Genesis P-Orridge and company.

Cult of Youth - A Stick to Bind, A Seed To Grow
One of the ten essential dark music releases of 2008!

 

Amoeba Hollywood’s Goth/Industrial Section Featured New Releases Week of 8/11:



Sprung Aus Den Wolken -
Dub & Die plus CD [Klanggalerie]
Originally released in 1981 as an untitled mini album, this was the first release by the German Avant-garde/Industrial/Post-Puink group that was once a member of the "Geniale Dilettanten" movement. Like a more structured early Einstürzende Neubauten. Expanded deluxe release with a set of bonus tracks.

Les Paradisiers – More Tales From The Garden
LP + Digital Download [Disques de Lapin]
Thomas Nola
and O Paradis collaboration! Dark, uneasy and psychedelic trips through the duo’s exotic and anachronous universe, where humid locales not only house jungle birds and cats, but also early 20th Century European speakeasies hosting American Vaudeville and Spanish Cabaret acts with 1980’s Goth sensibilities.



In Next Week, Amoeba Hollywood:

Clan Of Xymox - In Love We Trust CD [Metropolis]
The classic darkk-wave band celebrates its 25th anniversary with the release of a brand new studio album!

also in next week...
Informatik - Arena CD [Metropolis]

Still Fresh...

Nachtmahr - Alle Lust Will Ewigkeit CD [Trisol]
L'ame Immortelle mastermind Thomas Rainer's industrial project's new album.
 
Cold Cave - Love Comes Close LP/CD [Heartworm]
Brilliant scourged synthpop with heavy currents of Joy Division / New Order in its veins. "Supergroup" featuring Wes Eisold (Give Up The Ghost, Some Girls), Dominick Fernow (Prurient) and Caralee McElroy (Xiu Xiu).

6Comm - Like Stukas Angels Fall: Retrospect 1984 -1990 CD [Kenaz]
Re-recorded album of classic tracks featuring songs from the early 6Comm period and also a few tracks from his previous work in Death in June. Electro - Folk - Classical- Martial- Experimental -- 16 great songs, including new versions of "Torture Garden" and "Carousel" with new vocal sections. Nice gold foil blocked Digipak!

Jessie Evans -
Is It Fire? LIMITED  LP/CD [Fantomette]
Former Subtonix/The Vanishing/Autonervous member finally goes solo. Features appearances by Budgie (Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Creatures) and Toby Dammit (Swans, Iggy Pop).


Coming Up...

Der Blutharsch - Everything is Alright! LP [SOON!]
Death In June - Black Angel Live! Picture Disc LP+CDEP [September 8]
Black Tape For A Blue Girl – 10 Neurotics CD featuring Brian Viglione of The Dresden Dolls [September 22]
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