Weekly Roundup: together PANGEA, Soft Metals, Wax Idols, Johnathan Rado, Chelsea Wolfe, Wymond Miles

Posted by Billy Gil, August 22, 2013 06:21pm | Post a Comment

I’m back after a lil’ break! Here are some of my favorite local SF/LA area songs and videos of the past couple of weeks:

together PANGEA – “Snakedog” video

We’ve been waiting for some time for the next full-length from this band (who are now calling themselves “together PANGEA” rather than just Pangea, I guess to avoid confusion with other similarly named acts?). Still waiting on when that album will come out, but for now we’ve got the first new taste from the L.A. band, the slithery rocker “Snakedog.” Sounds like one of those dumb SyFy Channel movies! But it’s even better than that! I love these guys, can’t wait to hear more. The Snakedog 7” is out now on Harvest Records, and they’re on tour this fall, hitting Bardot in Hollywood Sept. 9.



Soft Metals – “Lenses” video

I know I write about these guys a lot, but they seriously have the corner marked on slightly detached yet totally engaging synth pop. “Lenses” is a dreamy title track from their excellent recent release, and since their last video was such a sexy treat, I thought I’d post this one too. Watching it and listening to it sort of feels like being completely wasted and high at some weird after hours place where you start seeing things and you’re not sure what’s going on.

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Burger Boogaloo Festival and Amoeba Berkeley In-Store Pre Festival Warm Up

Posted by Billyjam, July 2, 2013 10:30am | Post a Comment

Just days left to go to the July 4th weekend and the anticipated two-day Burger Boogaloo music festival (Saturday and Sunday: July 6 & 7th) at Oakland's Mosswood Park, of which Amoeba Music is a sponsor  and will be hosting/producing the kickoff party the day before (Friday July 5th) with an Amoeba Berkeley free in-store, pre Burger Boogaloo warm-up concert with sets by both awesome, retro sounding Gravy's Drop (an Amoeba Music Home Grown act) and hot new LA pop punk outfit Pangea. Catching these two talented Burger Records acts at Amoeba Friday evening is the perfect way to get in the groove and get a taste of whats to come for the weekend long (noon to 9pm on both Saturday and Sunday) rock oriented music festival that, as well as Pangea and Gravy's Drop, will feature anticipated sets from such others acts as Jonathan Richman, Red Kross, The Oblivions, and LA punk legends The Zeros.

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Burger Boogaloo Hits Oakland, 7/6 - 7/7. Join Amoeba Berkeley for a Blast-Off Bash with Pangea & Gravy's Drop on 7/5!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, June 5, 2013 05:37pm | Post a Comment
burger boogaloo

Burger Records has teamed up with Amoeba Music and Total Trash Productions to bring you the best Burger Boogaloo ever! This year's fest is happening on July 6th and 7th from Noon to 9pm at the Mosswood Park amphitheater in sunny Oakland. Catch Redd Kross, Jonathan RichmanThe Oblivions, The Trashwomen, Traditional Fools (with Ty Segall), and so many more! Get your tickets HERE!

pangeaIt all blasts off at Amoeba Berkeley on Friday, July 5th at 5pm with a FREE in-store show featuring Pangea and Amoeba Music's Home Grown artist Gravy's Drop! Pogo your way into the best weekend of garage, punk, and cheeseburgers this summer has to offer!

Pangea is an insanely fun bubblegum punk band from Los Angeles California. Since their Burger Records debut in 2012, they've been turning youngsters everywhere into "Slop Pop" fanatics and as their fans scream for them like the Beatles. 1964 never felt soooo goooood!

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Weekly Roundup: New Videos from Crown Plaza, So Many Wizards, IO Echo, Line & Circle

Posted by Billy Gil, November 8, 2012 02:02pm | Post a Comment

A whole batch of awesome videos from LA-based artists were released this week. Check ’em all out like it’s 1994 and you’re home watching MTV.

Crown Plaza – “Reactor” video; So Many Wizards’ “Lose Your Mind” video

The solo project of So Many Wizards’ Nima Kazerouni, Crown Plaza, is dreamier and lo-fier than his band’s indie power-pop. “Reactor” is lonely and lightly melancholic bedroom pop of the finest order, while the video calls to mind visiting your hometown and feeling like a stranger. Chem Waves Volume 1 is out now on tape on LA’s Vanity Projects, while So Many Wizards’ fine Warm Nothing was released earlier this year. That album’s “Lose Your Mind” video was also released this week. Crown Plaza play a free show at the Bootleg Theater Nov. 12. So Many Wizards will be all over LA this month and next, starting with a show at USC with the Allah-Las tonight; see all their dates here.



IO Echo – “Berlin, It’s All a Mess” video

LA electronic pop band IO Echo have teamed with filmmaker John Hillcoat (The Road, Lawless) and photographer Polly Borland for this incredible video, screening on MOCA TV, an Internet contemporary art channel started this year by LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Right from the start, you know you’re seeing and hearing something truly unusual. I want more of this! IO Echo’s debut album will be out in early 2013 on IAMSOUND. Look out for it, everything I’ve heard so far from this band has been great.

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PUSSY RIOT Benefit Show Held at The Smell With Vivian Girls and More

Posted by Billy Gil, August 22, 2012 05:38pm | Post a Comment

At some point in the past few weeks, Pussy Riot became the most important band in the world. They’re not “important” in the 9.0 review on Pitchfork kind of way. Rather, Pussy Riot is a band that reminds us that music can, and does, have a very real worldwide impact.
I won’t attempt to re-report the tons of great coverage the Russian feminist punk band has received since reaching international attention, but here’s a summation: the Moscow-based band has held public performances wearing colorful masks and clothing while playing songs that directly criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as the politics of the Russian Orthodox Church. These quick concerts are filmed and then put online, having appeared in places like the band’s livejournal page. One such performance, at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow, on Feb. 21, 2012, landed three of the collective’s members in jail, and after a widely publicized trial, they were found guilty of hooliganism and inciting religious hatred against the church. 
The verdict has been widely criticized as overly harsh. The United States State Department, The U.S. Embassy in Russia, U.S. President Barack Obama, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, among others, have expressed disappointment or disgust with the decision. Artists including Bjork, Madonna, Tim Minchin, Zola Jesus, Patti Smith, Paul McCartney and others have expressed public indignation over the decision, while on Aug. 16 a demonstration was held in New York, where actress Chloë Sevigny, writer Eileen Myles and others read writings and court statements from the detained members of the band — Maria Alekhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Ekaterina Samucevich. Vice Magazine editors got tattoos of the word “hooligan” in Russian to show their support. The Guaridan (U.K.) edited together a montage of Pussy Riot supporters with their song “Putin Lights Up the Fires.” Marches and protests have been held around the globe, with supporters donning similar attire to that worn by the band during its performances.



Over here in L.A., local bands have come together for a benefit show at the Smell, taking place this Monday, Aug. 27, at 8 p.m. The all-ages show will feature Vivian Girls, Pangea, Haim and Kremlin Head (with members of Bleached/Mika Miko and No Age playing punk covers), as well as DJ sets. Tickets are $10 and will go on sale at 12 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 23. All proceeds will go toward the Pussy Riot Defense Fund. Buy tickets here and visit for more information.
I sat down to speak with Vivian Girls and La Sera’s Katy Goodman about the show and what a band like Pussy Riot means to her.
Amoeba: So let’s talk about Pussy Riot a bit. Where did you first read or hear about them and what did you think?
Goodman: I heard about it a few months ago. One of my bandmates was like oh man, have you heard about this? I did some research and it seems crazy to me. The fact that they just got sentenced – I didn’t think they’d get two years. So I’m glad to be able to participate in this.
Amoeba: I wasn’t sure what to expect of the music, but it’s really ferocious, reminds me of Bikini Kill. Are you guys going to try to cover any songs?
Goodman: No, we’re not going to cover any of their songs. I feel like for us, in America, we get to play and sing about anything we want. And especially because we’re an all-girl band, we can play pretty much wherever and whenever we want to without risk of imprisonment. We’re just doing our songs, I think all the other bands are too. I don’t think we could do one of their songs.
Amoeba: The Russian might be tough to tackle.
Goodman: That would be hard. I guess we could look up the English translation. … We just want to play a show and show our solidarity to them, and hopefully they realize how many people around the world support them.
Amoeba: How did this benefit show come together?
Goodman: I don’t want to go too into detail. It’s somewhat anonymous, kind of in the vein of Pussy Riot. I feel like there is gonna be a series of shows … of people who support the cause.
Amoeba: Will you guys be donning the masks the band wears?
Goodman: I don’t know, I guess you’ll have to come to the show to see! I think … there will be stuff like that going on.
Amoeba: It’s been really amazing to see what an impact this has had worldwide. It’s sort of a reminder to all of us who work with music that it can be a lot bigger than just the day to day. What do you think about that — these women putting their lives on the line with their music because of what it can represent? Does it make you think about what people’s goals are with their own music?
Goodman: I definitely have taken for granted throughout my music career, I take for granted that I’m allowed to say whatever I want. I can write songs about politics or I can write songs about having a crush on someone. And I can play in public, no matter what I’m saying, without fear of going to jail. These women understand the situation in Russia is very different. It’s amazing they’re putting themselves out there this way with their message. Not all of their messages are about being women — they went to jail for saying Putin and the church, that there should be more of a separation between church and state. We’ve had that since day one in America. They’re still fighting that today. I think different people use art in different ways to express themselves. Some people use music to express their political views, which is what these women are doing. And I think what they’re doing is amazing.
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