Amoeblog

Album Picks: Young Guv, Matthew E. White, Sarah Bethe Nelson, Soul Jazz

Posted by Billy Gil, March 10, 2015 10:08am | Post a Comment

Young Guv Ripe 4 Luv

Fucked Up fans might be surprised to learn the band’s guitarist, Ben Cook, hides a secret power-pop fetish. Ripe 4 Luv is full of gleaming guitars, tinny drum machines and immediate, Big Star-inspired melodies. Cook still lets the guitars rip on songs like the irresisitable “Crawling Back to You,” but they’re in service of spaced-out love songs rather than post-hardcore epics. So even if the Ariel Pink-ish “Aquarius” is about as far from Fucked Up as you can get, it proves Cook can wear multiple hands and do it quite well. Ripe 4 Luv is a sterling piece of charmingly lo-fi power-pop that burns brightly over its snappy eight songs.

 

Matthew E. White Fresh Blood

The singer/songwriter/producer and Spacebomb Records founder returns with a second album that re-creates the American songbook D.I.Y.-style, moving from classic R&B (“Take Care My Baby”) to country-soul (“Rock & Roll Is Cold”) to gently orchestrated romantic indie pop (“Fruit Trees”), showing a master’s touch throughout.

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Album Picks: Father John Misty, Punk 45

Posted by Billy Gil, February 10, 2015 10:46am | Post a Comment

Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear

Father John Misty’s fearless second record builds on his folk-rock sound with orchestral touches, genre diversions and direct, conversational lyrics that cut through singer/songwriter clichés. The title track introduces Beatlesesque melodies and weeping steel guitar to prepare you for the scope of the record. J. Tillman starts going into crooner mode with the spectacular “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins),” his crushed-velvet vocals singing over a sweeping, country-symphonic arrangement, but his lyrics nicely keep the romanticism from getting too gooey (“I wanna take you in the kitchen/Lift up your wedding dress someone was probably murdered in”). “True Affection” takes a sharp turn into MIDI-electro-dream-pop, with some Fleet Foxes-style harmonies keeping things grounded in Tillman’s wheelhouse. “The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apartment” takes another turn, this time into Velvets-third-album twinkling indie pop, while Tillman calls out an airheaded groupie (“She says like, literally, music is the air she breathes,” he sings hilariously). Tillman’s lyrics work so well because of their specificity—you feel like you’re watching him break hearts at a local bar when he sings “Why the long face? Blondie, I’m already taken,” over a sultry Southern sway on “Nothing Good Ever Happens At The Goddamn Thirsty Crow.” Such subject matter could read as self-serving, if not for the album’s more self-effacing tracks, like “The Ideal Husband,” in which Tillman admits various wrongdoings, petty or otherwise, over nervy rock ‘n’ roll; or “Bored in the USA,” a piano ballad that seems to mock Tillman’s own first-world problems of alienation and dullness (“Save me, white Jesus!” is an awesomely cutting exclamation). Tillman’s refusal to do anything in a typical way while still keeping the music highly polished helps I Love You, Honeybear to never feel indulgent. Rather, it’s an extraordinarily giving album, as Tillman’s honesty and strength as a songwriter and performer has grown immeasurably. It’s easily one of the best albums of the year thus far.

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Albums Out Jan. 22: FIDLAR, The Growlers, Toro y Moi and More

Posted by Billy Gil, January 21, 2013 08:55pm | Post a Comment

It’s the first big release date of the year, with tons of much-anticipated albums hitting shelves.

 

Album Picks:

FIDLAR - FIDLAR

CD $12.98

LP $19.98

FIDLAR’s long-awaited debut album is a Pabst-soaked party record with strong songwriting anchoring its punk attitude. Pulling from hardcore, surf rock and pop-punk, and with the immediacy of The Clash’s first record, the foursome, made up of singer/guitarist Zac Carper, Brandon Schwartzel (bass), and brothers Elvis Kuehn (guitar) and Max Kuehn (drums), sing about being young and dumb and getting fucked up in songs with names like “Cheap Beer” (the chorus of which consists of the shouted lyrics “I DRINK CHEAP BEER SO WHAT FUCK YOU!”). But all the funny lyrics in the world wouldn’t mean a thing if the songs themselves didn’t captivate you, and they do, across FIDLAR’s 14 tracks. There’s nary a hint of cynical sneer, and though they play with sloppy punk abandon, their hooks are tight as a six-pack ring. FIDLAR sing about who they are and what they do, whether that’s waking, baking, skating in mechanical hedonism on the ferocious “Wake Bake Skate” or reflecting that said young hedonism can “kind of suck,” on the exhausted-sounding closing track. That’s a telling moment — for all of FIDLAR’s gleeful celebration, the record’s honed hooks are the sound of very hard work, and it pays off in spades.

 

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Ten reasons why last year didn't suck: another Best Music of 2011 list

Posted by Kells, January 1, 2012 12:00pm | Post a Comment
2011, what can I say? A great year for music if not for anything else. So without further ado, I'm pleased to present my very own "Best of 2011" list, because listing is fun (unless, of course, you're on a ship in danger of capsizing). Let's sail on shall we, beginning with the top of the best, old Mr. Natural himself:


Little Wings

Black Grass
Rad

This apple made a monumental leap from the tree in that it was many years in the making. It seemed that Kyle Field, the man behind the Little Wings mystique, had gone on hiatus only to return on his own terms with this juicy bramble of soft melodies, surf-salted served with a side of Lil Wayne-influenced folk-rock jammage. Field spins wooly yarns that sound like a conversation gone unspoken in the moment regaining shape in memory, voiced to oneself longingly. It's introspective almost to a fault, but the overall sound and vibe offers enough volume and warming to light even the darkest reaches of your keep and stay the ghosts of Black Grass' pasts at bay. Without a doubt the best new record and best instore performance of the year.

Little Wings - "Black Grass"



The Sandwitches
Mrs. Jones Cookies
Empty Cellar

If there is one other record that, like the above, remains forever locked in my can't live without it file, it's this little wonder from local SF girl group The Sandwitches. Sounding simultaneously like girls-in-the-garage "golden oldies" and new rock Americana aging backwards in filigree, these ladies cast a lasting spell the likes of which their lo-fi, sun-bleached reverb-drenched contemporaries cannot compete with. Their harmonies are a dream, their melodies artful and unpredictable, often culminating in surprise endings and the lyrics are the stuff "my gournal" dreams are made of.

The Sandwitches - "Lightfoot"




Various Artists
Delta Swamp Rock
Soul Jazz

You gotta hand it to Soul Jazz, they do compilations so right they ought to write the book on how it's done. None of the music is new on this here two-disc collection of "sounds from the South: at the crossroads of rock, country and soul" but it is essential in that as it has been proven in several Amoeba households to make meal preparation and completion more enjoyable as well as addig to the overall success of dinner party enjoyment. I'd include more than one taste of this damn good comp if I could, but Barefoot Jerry deserves the spotlight. Best comp of the year!
Barefoot Jerry - "Smokies"




Blaze Foley
Clay Pigeons
Secret Seven

Emotionally speaking, this vinyl-only, career spanning collection of studio, home and intimate live recordings made between 1976 - 1988 is the exhumed backwoods treasure release of the year in my opinion. From the lauded likes of Townes Van Zandt, Lucinda Williams and Merle Haggard it seems that Blaze Foley's honeyed voice, though largely unheard far and wide, has resonated within the hearts of all who have been lucky enough to have known his music. Thanks to the good folks at Secret Seven there's a little more country to love - I can't hear "Clay Pigeons" or "If I Could Only Fly" without shivering in my skin. Breathtaking!
Blaze Foley - "Clay Pigeons"





Boris
New Album
Daymare

For a band that always earns a lot of attention for their innovative and experimental heavy rock forays, this album, along with the two others they released this year (in the same week!), received mixed reviews due to a shift in sonic leaning toward a more high-impact, electro J-pop aesthetic. While some might be quick to call it pussy, there is no question that Boris maintain a technical stranglehold on their medium as they splash out in new directions. This record is a definite slow-growing ember burning up a myriad of genres.

Boris - "Spoon"




Sun Araw
Ancient Romans
Sun Ark/Drag City

Ever had the urge to take a stroll through a Casio forest, plodding lazily alongside a meandering data stream? Sun Araw's imagineer of epic soundscape mit cosmic dub vibeage Cameron Stallones conjures up this year's, which is to say last year's, most gravity bong worthy heavy hitter, rivaled only by Peaking Light's 936 in my opinion. Still, at the rate this guy keeps slicing off chunks of shaman-level soundtracking for his listener's inner space explorations, administering mind-altaring substances aurally will be trending at an all time high, man.

Sun Araw - Ancient Romans




Little Roy
Battle For Seattle
Ark

And you thought the award for novelty album of the year sould have gone to Loutallica's Lulu - shame on you!

I cannot explain exactly why but this album of reggae covers of Nirvana's patent grunge sounds just fucking works. Hear me now and believe me later when you check it out below.




Little Roy - "Sliver" / "Dive"




Grace Sings Sludge
Last Year's Friend
Secret Seven

From one of the minds that conjures magic as the Sandwitches comes this cassette only, limited release offered by Secret Seven - a collection of home recordings and folksy warblings that ramble freely within their sonic confines like so many wild mares briefly harnessed within innocent fences. The layers Grace achieves on each track, be it quiet chiming, a little harmonica or spectral harmonies, add a gossamer of mystery and are pleasure to peek through as each song unfurls its fabric, some of which are apparently cover tunes. Here's hoping for a reissue.

Grace Sings Sludge - "Last Year's Friend"




Various Artists
West Indies Funk
Vols. 1- 3
Trans Air

The only other compilation to really get my steel drum fetish all hot and bothered this year was in fact a series of three comps put out by Trans Air sailing under the banner West Indies Funk.
Not only are all three of these little gems packed front to back with blazing soul and funk cover jams all rummed-up and sun-soaked but they also feature some deep cuts ripe for a right good airing on your hi-fi. Add to that the bonus Disc 'O' Lypso comp and you can bet your ass you've got a sweaty boogie party goin' on!


The East Side Symphony - "Hot Pants Road"




Veronica Falls
Veronica Falls
Slumberland

I fell pretty hard for this band while compiling material for a Halloween mixtape I make every year for a dear friend of mine - it was the single "Found Love in a Graveyard" that did it. They've got a certain sound that's all kinds of been heard before but in their case "heard it" never sounded so good. In short, they make bucking-the-trend seem so very passé. Plus, they manage to keep their broken-hearted cemetery pop jangly with just enough tambourine behind the barely there girl/boy vocal harmonies that make the whole affair, super 8 video and all, worthwhile.

Veronica Falls - "Found Love in a Graveyard"

New Electronic 12" Releases 8/05 @ Amoeba Hollywood - Four Tet & Mala, Dr. Dunks, Demdike Stare, Arto Mwambe, Gerd & More

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, August 5, 2010 12:59pm | Post a Comment




Four Tet & Mala
Nothing To See
Soul Jazz

First up is the glitchy, sparkling electronica of "NOTHING TO SEE" by FOUR TET, with a shuffling post-garage vibe to it. On the flip is "DON'T LET ME GO" by MALA, a thick stew of discordant beats and propulsive melodies. As the label says, "Future Bass!" Limited edition and available now!

Listen to "Nothing To See" here:






Dr. Dunks
Keep It Cheap
Keep It Cheap

Eric 'Dr. Dunks' Duncan (COMBI / Still Going / Rub 'n' Tug etc) launches his new Keep It Cheap imprint, the winner here being the Dolly Parton edit that Harvey’s been caning for a while now. Hot!






Conrad Schnitzler
Zug LP
Minimal

Conrad Schnitzler's Zug is one of the most important and one of the first electronic minimalist works that was published in the 1970s. Almost simultaneously with Kraftwerk's groundbreaking Autobahn, "Zug" appeared on the legendary The Red Cassette (1973). Wire wrote about Zug: "Kraftwerk might have used similar methods to create rhythm, but three decades on, it still sounds like the future." As an original member of Tangerine Dream (1969-1970) and a founding member of Kluster, Conrad Schnitzler is a creator of milestones in the history of electronic popular music. This release is rounded off with remixes by Con (1978) fan Stefan Betke aka Pole and Borngräber & Strüver. Pole and Kassian Troyer (Radian) have mastered the record, so the best quality is guaranteed.



Demdike Stare
Liberation Through Hearing
Modern Love

This is the second in a series of three vinyl-only albums to be released by the UK's Demdike Stare aka Miles Whittaker (MLZ, Pendle Coven) and Sean Canty (Finders Keepers). Once again indebted to the black arts, the occult and Tibetan spiritualism, there are dark currents running through these 6 pieces, each one referencing the six images displayed on the cover. Demdike Stare will be back later on in 2010 with the third and final part in this mystical odyssey. Mastered and cut by Lupo at D&M, Berlin. Artwork by Andy Votel. Strictly limited vinyl pressing.







Gunnar Wendal
578
FXHE

aka Kassem MosseOmar S Remixes - Old school inside out playing grooves..

Listen to "578" here:







Chaton
+91 Ahead Session 4 Remixes
Plak

2 versions of this tune from PLAK. The A-side sees an ultra deep and dubby "BKLYN VERSION" from QUARION while the flip sees the "DEBUT VERSION" from SE-TE-VE, a raw groove with crunchy beats for some serious club abuse. A quality release!

Listen to the Quarion remix here:







Phil Collins
Moving – Idjut Boys remix
White

Dubby midtempo Balaeric remix of PHIL COLLINS' classic "I'M NOT MOVING" by the IDJUT BOYS. Perfect for late night Ibiza parties or sunrise raves.













Kasper Bjorke

Heaven 12”
HFN

This Danish talent creates this beautiful, classic analog meets cutting edge indie electronica, where songwriting and musical ideas stand strong. Includes two heavy remixes by PRINS THOMAS and MUSSLE FLASH & NICOLAS JAAR.

Listen to the Nicolas Jaar remix here:





Gerd
For 12 Minutes She Danced With An Alien
Rejected

"Hot on the heels of releases from Edwin Oosterwal and iO, Rejected ready themselves to drop their latest smash hit -- one that we are certain is set to rule this summer's dancefloors. Gerd's For 12 Minutes She Danced With An Alien originally saw a release as a B-side back in 1995 on Speedy J's Beam Me Up! label. Having recently made his own edit of the track, Joris Voorn secured permission to sign it for Rejected with Gerd agreeing to produce a fresh new version. The finest in '90s house, reworked and refreshed for today's floors, Gerd's new take is a sparkling, sunshine-tinged delight perfect for those sunset or sunrise moments. Joris does what he does best by injecting some driving, disco-tinged vibes for the dancefloor."

Listen to the Joris Voorn remix here:




Kenton Slash Demon
Schwarzschild Solution Part 1
Tartelet

"Kenton Slash Demon is best known in Scandinavia as a part of the amazing indie-disco band When Saints Go Machine (remixed by dOP and played by DJ Koze in his last RA podcast). However, Tartelet Records just signed the two guys to let them wear their electronic outfit. Their common musical history goes ten years back even though they are all in their early twenties, and even if they are not too known within the international club scene they have already enjoyed acknowledgement from many sides. Fredski, Tomboy and the rest of the Tartelet crew are looking forward to presenting Kenton Slash Demon, which might just become one of Tartelet's big ones. Tart 6(66) is a real EP for the demons. All effective club tracks. A: 'KhaNabi': Big big big stumbling grooves matched up with a mean bass line and explosive kick, all mixed up with a very intense zitar that takes the track through massive peaks. This track will blow the dance floor at peak hour. No chance you will be disappointed. 'KhaNabi' will stir the floor like a hot pot."




Arto Mwambe
Duster FC
Robert Johnson

Accompanying the miraculous LARJ edition by Arto Mwambe, this piece of vinyl features two previously-unreleased trinkets. The Berlin-Moss axis under guidance of the Sex Tags Mania emperors delivers two remixes that are exclusively available on the vinyl platter. With some help by the reclusive Don Papa, DJ Sotofett and some other mystical people, these friendly characters grace Arto Mwambe's "Midi Vice" with their unique voices and distinctive vision of what dance music can be.







Nick Sole
Beautiful Day
Fauxpas

This EP from Nick Solé comes in a limited edition of colored, hand-numbered vinyl. Classic U.S. deep house flavored with a long, minimal, dubby atmospheric track. Includes a remix by Atmos. Tip!