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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Jessica Pratt

Posted by Amoebite, February 11, 2019 06:35pm | Post a Comment

Jessica Pratt - What's In My Bag?

Amoeba Hollywood was excited to have singer/songwriter, and Amoeba alum, Jessica Pratt in the store recently for a cool and educational What's In My Bag? interview. The Los Angeles based artist had lots of insightful things to say about all the records and books she found while digging through the bins, especially when it came to a perennial favorite, Marianne Faithfull's Rich Kid Blues. Explaining that the English singer was homeless and in the midst of a terrible heroin addiction when the album was recorded, Pratt told us, "you can tell listening to it that her voice is rather shaky, and she doesn't really have full control, but at the same time she's playing with these studio musicians and they're like really tight, so it's kind of a nice contrast." Pratt also appreciated some the song choices, which included a couple of Bob Dylan tunes. "Dylan songs are really hard to cover...I think there's a lot of pretty repulsive Dylan covers out there, but she really nails it." Pratt's cool picks and cool commentary made for a particularly cool video.

Pratt learned to play the guitar at age fifteen, teaching herself by playing along to T. Rex's Electric Jessica Pratt - Quiet SignsWarrior album. As a teen, she recorded her own music using her mother's Fender guitar amp and a microphone. After moving to San Francisco as an adult, Pratt befriended Tim Presley of White Fence who became a fan of her lo-fi psych/folk compositions and released her self-titled 2012 LP through his Birth Records label. The initial limited edition pressing (500 copies) sold out in two weeks and received glowing reviews from Pitchfork and Consequence of Sound.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with The xx

Posted by Amoebite, July 17, 2018 02:53pm | Post a Comment

The xx What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

Romy Madley Croft and Jamie Smith of The xx stopped by Amoeba Hollywood recently, digging through the bins and finding some cool records, T-shirts, and posters. "A band that we all really love is Chromatics," Croft told us as she pulled the Portland synth-pop band's In The City II EP out of her shopping bag. "I just love the instrumentals and stuff on here," she continued. "They have always been a big influence to us and they do a great cover of 'I'm On Fire' by Bruce Springsteen." Croft and Smith found a diverse mix of albums for our latest What's In My Bag? episode, explaining the personal significance of each and chiming in on each other's choices. 

UK minimalist indie electro pop band The xx consists of vocalist/guitarist Croft, vocalist/bassist Oliver Sim, and producer Smith, aka Jamie xx. Influenced equally by post-punk and R&B, the band formed in 2005, when Croft and Sim attended school together. They posted their early work on their MySpace The xx - I see Youaccount, which attracted attention from the Young Turks label and led to the release of their critically-acclaimed debut LP xx in 2009. Seemingly overnight, The xx seemed to be taking over the world, with career-defining appearances at All Tomorrow's Parties, Coachella, Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Austin City Limits on the books. In 2010, they took home the prestigious Mercury Prize.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with The Needle Drop's Anthony Fantano

Posted by Amoebite, August 22, 2017 01:44pm | Post a Comment

Anthony Fantano What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

What does a YouTube-star and music critic buy when he visits Amoeba Hollywood? Just about everything! At least that was the case with Anthony Fantano, the host and creator of The Needle Drop, a vlog followed by over one million subscribers. From jazz to indie rock and from hip hip to new wave, Fantano found many a record to round out his collection, and he had plenty of insight to share about his choices.

Billing himself as "the internet's busiest music nerd," Anthony Fantano began his musical career while attending Southern Connecticut State University and working at his college radio station. He then began interning at Connecticut Public Radio, which lead to the creation of a podcast called The Needle Drop. In 2009, he began experimenting with video while reviewing a Jay Reatard album. Slowly, Fantano accumulated views and likes on his online channel, which eventually resulted in a partnership with YouTube. By the end of 2010, he had accrued 10,000 subscribers. By the end of 2011, he had 50,000.

Today, The Needle Drop counts over one million subscribers. At the time of writing, some of Fantano's most-viewed videos include his reviews of Kanye West's Life of PabloKendrick Lamar's DAMN., and To Pimp a Butterfly. His reviews sometimes feature fellow music critics, his wife, and his alter ego Cal Chuchesta. He has been profiled in The Guardian, spoken on a SXSW panel, and received the Beyond the Blog award at the MTV O Music Awards. LA fans can catch The Needle Drop's 10 Year Anniversary event with Anthony Fantano at the Echoplex on October 24th.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Cold War Kids

Posted by Amoebite, June 19, 2017 07:00pm | Post a Comment

Cold War Kids Amoeba Music What's In My Bag?

We were excited to have Nathan Willett and Matt Maust of Cold War Kids at Amoeba Hollywood to show us what they picked up on their most recent visit. "To come into Amoeba was the biggest deal in the world," says lead vocalist/guitarist Willett about the opening of the LA location in 2001. "I think we came opening day; I know I did," adds Maust.

Indie rock five-piece Cold War Kids formed in Fullerton in 2004 while the members were students at Biola University. The band took their name from an experience Matt Maust had while traveling in Budapest, visiting a park with a children's playground and several missing statues from the Cold War era. The band released their debut EP, Mulberry Street in 2005; the release drew its name from a Cold War Kids LA Divine Amoeba Musicrestaurant below multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Jonnie Russell's apartment where the group would regularly meet. In 2006, Cold War Kids signed to Downtown Records and released their first full-length, Robbers & Cowards. They embarked on an extensive North American tour to promote the album, joining the White Stripes on their summer 2007 tour.

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From "Give Peace A Chance" to "Fuck Donald Trump" - Top Ten Protest Songs

Posted by Billyjam, April 11, 2017 02:10pm | Post a Comment

 
"War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing! Say it again" - Edwin Starr "War" (1970 Motown) *
The above sentiment of Edwin Starr's popular anti-Vietnam protest song was right about war but with one key exception. War, along with other periods of serious social unrest, historically trigger some of the best reactionary art of all schools including music and some of the most powerful protest songs. Even before last Thursday's bombing of Syria and the inevitable future fallout it will cause, the Trump era had already helped kick start the latest renaissance of revolutionary protest music.  Like Edwin Starr's Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong penned 1970 single, recorded during the counterculture era, the latest wave of protest music is a form of artistic expression born out of passion and necessity. Traditionally protest music acts on two primary levels. It's the soundtrack to the actual protest / rebellion / revolution, as well as being as a medium to vent and share feelings of discontent. As well as being a catharsis for its creators offering listeners some sense of relief or bonding, good protest music can also provide a message of hope during historically challenging times. Since the beginning of time history has a habit of repeatedly presenting its citizens challenging times, with war and social injustices being recurring themes.

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