Amoeblog

out today 7/8...yaz!!!

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 10, 2008 02:05pm | Post a Comment

I still remember the first time that I ever heard Yaz. My cousin was driving me and my brother back home from my grandparents' house. It was 1982 and I was 8 years old. She was playing the Upstairs at Eric's cassette on her tape player. I immediately fell in love with the album even though I had never heard of them before. I had to ask her what it was. Luckily I was only 8 years old and didn't yet get embarrassed about not knowing the name of a band. I think I made my mom buy it for me as soon as I could find it. I really wasn't old enough to have seen them in concert anyway, but they never\ came to the U.S. for a tour anyway. Yaz put out a second album, You and Me Both, in 1983. They broke up before they even had a chance to tour the UK with that album, so the world has really been waiting 25 years for this reunion! A couple years later I became a huge fan of both Depeche Mode and Erasure. I soon realized that Vince Clark was in all these bands and he quickly became one of my musical heroes. Not only did he help to create Depeche Mode and their debut album Speak \and Spell, but he also went on to help create all of the Erasure albums with Andy Bell. I will go so far as to say that the world of new wave and electronic dance music might be a bit different if it were not for Vince Clark. He influenced tons of Industrial and electronica artists, even if they may not want to admit it. 

So the rumors are true. No, Alison Moyet is not a man...although a couple of my friends did have me convinced that at one point she was. But it is true: Yaz has reunited! Yazoo, if you live in England. They just played a show at the Paramount in Oakland which I most definitely would have been at if I still lived there. I love that theater and it is the perfect place to see them. I will be seeing them tonight at the Orpheum in Los Angeles, which is just as great. I really can't wait. 25 years of anticipation. I am also curious to see the crowd. I imagine that I will be one of the youngest there. I expect a mostly mid to late 30s and early 40s crowd, but maybe a whole new generation of younger people will be there. I hope so. In celebration of their reunion, Mute has just released an amazing Yaz 4 disc box set. I am assuming that reissues of the single albums will soon follow. This box set includes remastered versions of both their 2 solo albums. It also includes a disc or remixes and b-sides. The 4th disc is a DVD that includes a new short film with interviews with both Alison Moyet and Vince Clark. It also includes videos for "Don't Go," "The Other Side of Love," "Situation," "Nobody's Diary" and "Only You." I am excited to see the videos. I seriously can't even remember any of these videos.

Continue reading...

8/28 new releases...the liars...jamie t....

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 27, 2007 10:30pm | Post a Comment
The Liars have a new album for us this week. With their fourth album they decided to go for that basic s/t title of "Liars." This band has sort of been all over the place with the four albums in their history. They started on the label Gern Blandsten with "They Threw Us All In a Trench and Stuck a Monument On Top. This was way back in 2001. And although they were not originally from New York, they were stuck into that whole new New York Indie post-rock dance-punk kind of sound. Along with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Liars were sort of an exciting change to how boring indie rock had become. They combined experimental techniques with a sort of more traditional indie rock style. It was exciting. Over the past 6 or so years they have put out another 2 albums on Mute and now another one. And they have managed to stay interesting and exciting. It was probably better for them to not become as quickly popular as Franz Ferdinand or the Arctic Monkeys. But I guess they have always been a bit too weird to get that popular. They have sort of slowly managed to get critical acclaim and hold on to their more loyal fans while getting a few more with each album.

This new album can easily be mistaken for some early Jesus & Mary Chain or Spiritualized. The band is made up of Angus Andrew on guitar and vocals, Aaron Hemphill on percussion, guitar and synth, and Julian Gross on drums. Angus is from Australia. The other two are from the U.S. They really do sort of capture that amazing Jesus & Mary Chain sound. But they don't come off as an imitation. It sounds like something new and exciting while reminding you why you fell in love with bands like the Jesus & Mary Chain.

Nothing could make me happier than to see the name Gareth Jones on the liner notes (the album is mixed by Gareth). He has produced many of my favorites for Mute and I can't really imagine my musical history without him. He helped create Construction Time Again, Some Great Reward, and Black Celebration by Depeche Mode. I have been watching all those amazing DVD documentaries that come with the deluxe Depeche Mode reissues. They actually created a little mini hour long documentary for each album. Gareth is interviewed for most of the discs. It is really awesome to hear what Gareth, and the others involved with the Depeche Mode albums, have to say about the productions of those albums. He also produced albums for Erasure, Wire, Fad Gadget, Diamanda Galas, Nick Cave, John Foxx, Tuxedo Moon, Einsturzende Neubauten, Clinic, and Interpol. Not to say that this Liars album sounds like any of th0se albums. It stands on its own and could easily be one of the best of the year.

Continue reading...