Amoeblog

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Wolf Parade

Posted by Amoebite, July 9, 2018 05:37pm | Post a Comment

Wolf Parade - What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

Dan Boeckner and Arlen Thompson of Wolf Parade were at Amoeba Hollywood recently schooling us on some of the records that influenced them in their formative years, new records they've been getting into, and Canadian heroes that have been overlooked by the "arbitrators of cultural taste" in their own country. Take, for example, the industrial group Skinny Puppy. "I would argue that this is the most influential Canadian band of the 1980s," Boeckner proclaimed, calling them, "a totally misunderstood and under-appreciated band in its own country...without this band you wouldn't have Nine Inch Nails (and) Ministry." Boeckner goes on to explain that Canadian taste-makers have "pretty much erased these guys from the history books." There was much more to be said about all of the records picked by the two band mates, making for an insightful and fun What's In My Bag? interview. 

Canadian indie rock band Wolf Parade formed in 2003 when former Frog Eyes member Spencer Krug found himself with three weeks to get a group together. He teamed up with Dan Boeckner (ex-Atlas Wolf Parade Cry Cry CryStrategic) and the pair began writing songs in Krug's apartment, accompanied by a drum machine. Arlen Thompson eventually took over percussionist duties. A year later, the group traveled to Portland to work with Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock on their self-titled Sub Pop debut EP. The current lineup solidified when Dante DeCaro (ex-Hot Hot Heat) signed on in 2005.

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50 Essential Albums Released in 2014

Posted by Aaron Detroit, December 5, 2014 09:20am | Post a Comment

Aaron Detroit, Buyer at Amoeba Hollywood. I've worked in Hollywood for ten years, but started my time with Amoeba - way back in 1998 -  at the San Francisco store. Here is my extensive list of new essential listening, released in 2014. There is a wide range of genres and artists represented here because musical passion should not be static.





1. Swans - To Be Kind (Young God)
To Be Kind, Swans’ 3rd LP since their 2010 reformation (and 13th overall,) is an unlikely triumph after 2012’s seemingly unmatchable masterpiece, The Seer. Any trepidation one might have about the sprawling triple-LP’s intimidating track lengths should evaporate under it’s hypnotizing ebb-and-flow of mental blues, super-honed grooves, manic clatter and hushed passages; all of which are eventually crushed by monolithic waves of majesty. Nothing short of classic.



 2. Carla Bozulich - Boy (Constellation)
Boy is Carla Bozulich’s (of Ethyl Meatplow, Geraldine Fibbers and Evangelista-renown) 3rd solo affair, but in a lot of ways it feels like her first. Bozulich pours her famed, devastating whiskey-voice into a cocktail of funeral country, death blues and industrial noise that sticks to your guts. Carla herself refers to this LP as her “pop record,” and if that's a true description, we could sure use a whole lot more “pop” albums like Boy. Don’t overlook this one.

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Album Picks: Andy Stott, Sleaford Mods

Posted by Billy Gil, November 25, 2014 09:41am | Post a Comment

Andy Stott - Faith in Strangers (LP, CD)

andy stott faith in strangers lpThough techno/dub producer Andy Stott’s latest release was most certainly made using computers, he’s channeling something otherwordly here. Noirish opener “Time Away” evokes deeds unseen in the middle of the night with its long, foggy tones. Alison Skidmore, Stott’s former piano teacher, lends airy, disembodied vocals for Stott to manipulate and mangle amid squirting synth noise on “Violence,” though some of her seductive intonations give Stott a welcome personality to work with. “Science and Industry” calls to mind Joy Division in its merciless bleakness and clanging beatwork, while “No Surrender” pushes beautiful synth runs into the red, beats bleeding over into one another. Though Stott has the ability to move and sometimes overwhelm you with sound, it’s the silences and sense of space in songs like the title track that make them stay with you, even as “Faith in Strangers” ends up as one of Stott’s most engaging, optimistic compositions. Faith in Strangers isn’t quite as cohesive as his last album, Luxury Problems, but its tracks also feel a lot more like individual songs, rather than parts of one large piece. The source of the creeping menace present in Stott’s music may elude you after finishing Faith in Strangers, but it’s entirely effective in creating a sense of place before unsettling you. Faith in Strangers feels alluringly just out of reach, keeping you delving into its dark passages. Just remember to come up for breath. 

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