Amoeblog

Amoeba SF's Top In-Stores of 2018

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 10, 2018 07:42pm | Post a Comment

By Brent James

Whether you’ve attended one of our amazing live shows or maybe even a more casual event such as an album signing, there’s no doubt that there’s never a dull moment at an Amoeba Music brick and mortar store! While every gig here in the store is special, here’s a list of the top shows of 2018 that really blew our socks off! In no particular order…

1. Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids, Friday May 18th, 2018

The show kicked off with a procession (led by King Idris of course) that started off at the stage and snaked around the store. Snatching anything and everyone in its path, the band eventually made it back to the stage and kicked off a rousing 45 minute set of material from the band's latest release, An Angel Fell. Watching Idris do his thing would be almost enough to satiate even the most hardened music/Jazz fan, but The Pyramids held their own-laying the foundation for what turned out to be a top notch Jazz show that had jaws dropping and eyes widened with adoration from an appreciative crowd. Even the legendary Rhodessa Jones was in attendance. The evening truly had a special feel to it.

Idris Ackamoor

2. The Motels, Friday April 5th, 2018

What an absolute DREAM it was to host the legendary Martha Davis and The Motels on the Amoeba Stage! Playing in support of their latest album, The Last Few Beautiful Days, Davis and Co. tore through a set of familiar classics and newer, soon-to-be Motels staples that left jaws dropped and a the crowd wanting more! See them when you get the chance.

Continue reading...

Amoeba Bay Area & Amoeba Hollywood Share Their Top 5 In-Stores of 2016 (So Far)

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 8, 2016 05:32pm | Post a Comment

We're a little past the half-way mark of 2016 already, so it seemed like a perfect time to reflect upon the fantastic in-store shows we've put on at all three of our Amoeba locations: San Francisco, Berkeley, and Hollywood. Each and every live performance we present at our stores is a unique and thrilling experience for the audience and staff, but some shows just have that extra bit of magic to make them stand out as our favorites. Enjoy our lists of top five in-store shows of 2016 (so far)!

Amoeba Bay Area: San Francisco & Berkeley

The Mystery Lights at Amoeba SF: July 31, 2016
Every so often we book a band right before or just as they explode onto the scene in a big way. Although The Mystery Lights has put out a couple of releases since 2009, the NY-by-way-of-Salinas, California band just released their self-titled debut on Daptone Records' new subsidiary Wick and it's gaining momentum. Their sound is sinister garage - the darker side of the '60s Nuggets, Pebbles, and Back From The Grave comps. Think the proto-punk of The Seeds, The Sonics, Jesters of Newport. Unlike many garage rock revivalists, The Mystery Lights don't just recreate the sound; these guys channel it spiritually, putting on a raucous show led by the howling, jumping, guitar-wielding Mike Brandon.

Continue reading...

Psych-Soul Trio KING Chat Before Amoeba Performance Jan. 28

Posted by Billy Gil, January 27, 2016 10:39am | Post a Comment

L.A.-based KING bring their uniquely stirring brand of swirling psychedelic soul to the Amoeba Hollywood stage for a free show Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. They'll also have their debut LP, We Are KING, on sale that day at Amoeba prior to the album's official release on Feb. 5.

KING consist of Anita Bias and sisters Paris Strother and Amber Strother. Paris is the primary producer and instrumentalist of the band, while Amber and Anita's breahty vocals hopscotch over Paris' jazzy concoctions. Together they produce a sound that doesn't skimp on complexity but also exudes warmth, using horns and unabashedly synthy keys for a sound that weaves together classic soul, synth-funk, dream pop and certain something undefinable that gives KING its own essence.

The group has drummed up a vocal fanbase on Twitter even before dropping its first album, one that includes none other than Prince, who asked the group to open for him one night during his 21-night residency at the Forum in Inglewood in 2011. Unfortunately it's also part of their story that as a trio of women writing and producing their own soul music, A&R folks have suggested the group alter their image and essentially dumb down the sound, as they told LA Weekly. I asked them about all of that and more when I caught up with them before their Amoeba show.

Continue reading...

Show Recap: Death Cab For Cutie at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, April 1, 2015 04:02pm | Post a Comment

Death Cab For Cutie closed down the store at Amoeba Hollywood March 31 on the day of the release of their new album, Kintsugi.

Just before the band starts its tour in support of the album—and now without longtime guitarist and producer Chris Walla—the band could’ve been unsure of its footing. But they pretty much crushed it, starting with the album’s thumping opener “No Room in Frame.” “The Ghosts of Beverly Drive” saw the band pick up the energy while still employing moody guitarwork and ghostly effects to good measure.

Ben Gibbard paused a moment to introduce new band members Dave Depper and Zac Rae (both on keys and guitars) before launching into the three-guitar “Little Wanderer.” It’s easy to forget what a great guitar band Death Cab can be, and honestly, the guitars threatened to overtake Gibbard’s star power on that song. But the song’s catchy chorus brings it all back, and Gibbard still stood center-stage on  “Black Sun,” shaking his head through the song’s biting lyrics amid dusty organ and languid guitarwork.

Death Cab at times could be thought of as more of a solid and enjoyable band than a dynamic one, but they’ve seemingly sought to incorporate more variety to their introverted indie-pop on recent releases as their audience has grown, and live, their skill at juggling different sounds is even more pronounced. On the cowboyish “El Dorado,” Gibbard’s voice rang clearly over a sturdy gallop and wallowing guitars, while “Everything’s a Ceiling” is closer to an ’80s prom ballad and had the crowd clapping along to its stuttering beat and glowing synths.

Continue reading...

So Many Wizards' Nima Kazerouni Talks Being in Four Bands Before Performance Jan. 29 at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, January 28, 2015 03:17pm | Post a Comment

so many wizards amoebaSo Many Wizards frontman Nima Kazerouni is easily one of the hardest working guys in the L.A. music scene. Other than SMW, his long-running indie-pop project, he has another full-time band, Crown Plaza, and two more new ones. I asked Kazerouni about how he keeps it all straight before So Many Wizards’ show at Amoeba Hollywood Jan. 29 at 6 p.m. They’re handing out a split 7” at the show with Tennis System, as part of Converse Rubber Tracks’ free recording sessions for up-and-coming artists. They’ll also be signing their previous 7”, Night Chills, at the show.

So I heard you started a new band, Nectarine, and now you have GNTLMN, too, bringing the total to four (I think). Is that just to try out different directions, play with different people or something else?

Yeah, totally. Nectarine is a super fun new band that started with homegirl Allie Bumsted. We would just jam together and write songs on the fly in her Long Beach garage while drinking beers and coffee. It turned into a thing pretty naturally. GNTLMN, which is now officially called Others, is a two-piece electronic dream-pop project created with S.F. transplant and homegirl Natalia Rogovin. The two are totally different sounds, and I play different roles in each band. It’s a lot to juggle four bands, yes, but whatever, I love them all.

Continue reading...