Amoeblog

The Best Albums of 2016

Posted by Amoebite, December 19, 2016 03:01pm | Post a Comment

Best of 2016

With the holiday season fast approaching and 2016 drawing to an end, we decided to take a look back at some of our favorite releases for the year. Staff from all three of our stores --  in Hollywood, San Francisco, and Berkeley -- shared their picks for the year's best music and movies and told us a little about what made them so awesome. So hop in the Amoeba sleigh with us, won't you, as we go on a magical holiday journey through the early months of 2016 till now, adventuring from world music to rock 'n' roll and everything in between, savoring the most memorable works from some of our most beloved artists. (It might even give you a few swell ideas for record-shaped stocking stuffers.) 

Best of 2016 - rock

Anohni Hopelessness

ANOHNI - Hopelessness

I have been a fan of Anohni (formerly known as Antony & the Johnsons) for a long time now. She has another one of those distinctive voices that there is no confusing for someone else. Another great album produced by the amazing ANOHNI. The words in the songs are so full of emotion and power it is almost too much to handle sometimes. This album somehow feels like it is in the future. The songs are very set in the present. But the music really takes me to the future. Or at least makes me feel like we will be OK as long as we have ANOHNI to help guide us through the uncertain future. - Brad, Hollywood

Roses Play Amoeba Night at the Bootleg HiFi Nov. 23

Posted by Billy Gil, November 3, 2014 10:08am | Post a Comment

roses bandL.A. new romantics Roses hit the Bootleg HiFi for their November Sunday residency, presented by The Fold. The band plays every Sunday in November, with a new slate of supporting bands each night. Nov. 23 is Amoeba Music Night, featuring Hair Perfect, Crystales and Basement Babies. We’ll be on hand with coupons, buttons and more.

Roses formed last year, following the dissolution of guitarist Juan Velasquez’s old band, Abe Vigoda. Since then, the band has played live extensively, with bands such as A Sunny Day in Glasgow and Diiv, as well as at Amoeba's Red Bull Sound Select show back in August with Tanlines, and they released the Dreamlover EP this year on Group Tightener. Velasquez, a veteran of Amoeba, and singer/keyboardist Marc Steinberg sat down to talk with us a bit about his new band and what they have going on into the new year.

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Show Recap: Tanlines, SISU and Roses at Sayers Club

Posted by Billy Gil, August 22, 2014 05:48pm | Post a Comment

Tanlines headlined a trio of dreamy indie-pop bands for the latest Red Bull Sound Select show, which happened Aug. 20 at Sayers Club in Hollywood, curated by Amoeba.

roses sayers clubL.A. trio Roses came out bouncing around on stage with a set of new wavey tracks, about half of which could be found on their new EP, Dreamlover. After a couple of upbeat new ones, they got slow and dreamy for “The Fog” before returning to a bobbing dance beat for “Florence Girls.” Guitarist Juan Velasquez remarked that the couch-laden venue felt like MTV Unplugged, something I’d noticed upon entering (or perhaps “VH1 Storytellers”?), and the band finished with a new song that combined Cars-style palm-muted guitars with frontman Marc Steinberg’s intoning vocals.

 

 

 

 

 

sisu fluteSISU came on next, the project from Dum Dum Girls drummer Sandra Vu. In SISU, she’s on guitar and vocals, singing “stash a secret deep in you heart” like it’s a command over thumping krautrock on “Blood Tears,” the title track to her excellent album. Sometimes sultry and hazy, other times crushing with pulverizing guitars, SISU struck the right balance on songs like “Harpoons,” which pairs a grim tone and eerie effects in its verses with a sweetly sung, romantic chorus. A friend said it reminded him a bit of Adore-era Smashing Pumpkins sung by a woman, while I was thinking a lot of Curve—both great comparisons in my book! A flute by the mic was the cause of much speculation/excitement, which Vu brought out for a quick flute solo before returning to more tasty shoegaze crunch.
 

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Roses Chat With the Amoeblog Before Show at Sayers Club

Posted by Billy Gil, August 20, 2014 11:37am | Post a Comment

rosesL.A. trio Roses spin out gorgeous tunes that blur the line between dreamy introspection and new-wave pop abandon on their debut EP, Dreamlover. The band, which features ex-Abe Vigoda member Juan Velasquez on guitar with Marc Steinberg on vocals/keyboards and Victor Herrera on bass, will be at Sayers Club tonight for the next Red Bull Sound Select show, along with Tanlines and SISU, who we caught up with yesterday. The show is only $3 with an RSVP and starts at 8 p.m.; hope to see you there!

We spoke with Velasquez a bit about his new band and the recently released Dreamlover before the show.

You guys were friends for a while before becoming a band. Tell me a little bit about how you guys formed.

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Album Picks: Spoon, Roses, Spider Bags, Bear in Heaven

Posted by Billy Gil, August 5, 2014 09:00am | Post a Comment

Spoon - They Want My Soul (LP, CD)

spoon they want my soul lpProducer David Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev) ends up being the perfect collaborator for Austin’s Spoon on their excellent eighth album. His unmistakable stamp helps the drums explode on rock stomper “Rent I Pay”; he augments the band’s lean indie funk-rock sound with harps and synths on the lovely “Inside Out”; and “Do You’s” loopy spaceiness helps make it the best Britpop song that never was, like late-era Blur on a country kick. Of course, none of the album’s majesty would be possible without the band itself, who co-produce (along with early producer Joe Chiccarelli) and write some of their catchiest tunes to date, and that’s saying something, given that this is the band responsible for earworms like “The Way We Get By.” The band stretches itself to the limits here without straying too far from its core appeal, as songs like the slinky, dark “Outlier” sound unlike anything in the band’s catalog but (pardon the pun) don’t stick out in a bad way. The melodies and arrangements are ace throughout, and frontman Britt Daniel becomes more versatile, engaging in a kind of beatnik singspeak on “Let Me Be Mine” while still unleashing those great, sandpapered pipes to their fullest potential on the chorus of “Do You.” It adds up to one of the best-ever releases from one of the solidest bands in indie rock, a total triumph and utterly welcome return. Spoon will be playing live at Amoeba Hollywood Wednesday Aug. 6 at 6 p.m.!

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