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New Fela Kuti Vinyl Box Set Announced, Curated by Brian Eno

Posted by Billy Gil, August 12, 2014 10:15am | Post a Comment

fela kuti box set vol. 3Knitting Factory will release their third set of vinyl reissues by Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti Sept. 29, assembled by Brian Eno.

This set will include the albums London Scene (1971), Shakara (1972), Gentleman (1973), Afrodisiac (1973), Zombie (1976), Upside Down (1976) and I.T.T. (1980). It will also include a 12-page booklet with an intro by Eno, song lyrics and contributions by Afrobeat historian Chris May, Pitchfork reports.

Vol. 1 of the Kuti sets was curated by The Roots?uestlove while Vol. 2 was curated by Ginger Baker.

Eno and Talking Heads famously used Afrobeat and Kuti as an inspiration for the classic Talking Heads album Remain in Light, which Eno produced. Watch Eno talk about his longtime enthusiasm for Kuti’s music in the video below:

10 Bands We'd Like to See Reunite

Posted by Billy Gil, January 29, 2014 11:11am | Post a Comment

Two of our favorite bands of all time — OutKast and Slowdiveare officially reuniting. OutKast announced it a couple weeks back, with news that the Southern rap legends will headline Coachella and play Governernor’s Ball in New York, though it seems likely we’ll see another Big Boi album before a new OutKast album (and we’re OK with that!). Meanwhile, shoegaze titans Slowdive yesterday confirmed rumors (that they themselves flamed) that they’d reunite, playing Primavera in Barcelona in May and “a couple of gigs,” including a show at Village Underground in London May 19 (better book your tickets now!), in order to raise funds for a new LP.

With those two reunions locked down, we thought we’d turn our attention from bands we liked that reunited to bands we’d like to see reunite.

Talking Heads

This one seems a no-brainer. They exactly been quiet since they first broke up in 1991, from briefly “reuniting” onstage in 2002 to play three songs for their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, to David Byrnes solo career (including a one-off album with St. Vincent), to the other members’ activity, including The Heads and Tom Tom Club. And the band seems more popular and prescient than ever. So, everyone’s still alive and working.

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Wild Beasts Trekking Through California

Posted by Billy Gil, October 11, 2011 05:49pm | Post a Comment
One of my favorite bands of the past few years has to be Wild Beasts. Captivatingly beautiful yet harrowingly strange, there just aren’t many bands around like Wild Beasts. If you haven’t heard them, think Talk Talk/Talking Heads style percussive yet atmospheric rock with the theatrical falsetto of singer Hayden Thorpe and intoning howl of bassist Tom Fleming booming and flooding over everything.
 
Their earliest stuff had a freewheeling quality that made it seem like they were daring you to turn it off or keep listening to find out where they’d go next. First single “Brave Bulging Buyoyant Clairvoyants” from Limbo, Panto starts as this bouncy guitar jam until you hear the weirdest voice ever, like razors on chalkboard — that would be Thorpe’s dandified growl. That song used to be like a litmus test for me to see how much people would be willing to hear something that kind of smacks you around a bit and can’t sit nicely in the background.


“We were kind of small town boys really,” Fleming says of their early days. “It’s a bit of naiveté. We just thought people would get it.”

Things changed for 2009’s Two Dancers, which saw the band rein in the ruckus and focus on grooves and tunefulness. People took notice — the formerly renegade and challenging band suddenly appeared on year-end lists aplenty and got the band nominated for a Mercury Prize.

“It didn’t change a thing in terms of the music we’re making,” Fleming says. “But when you’re heading people like Mark Ronson saying they like Wild Beasts, it’s like, what on earth? When did this happen?”

Fleming says people told him they expected Wild Beasts to take that hype and make a self-consciously “big” album. They didn’t. This year the band released Smother, a nocturnal, literary and just as weird, if more mature, album compared with what they’ve done before. Though it shaves off some of the harder edges that made their early material so fun, it’s a more honed version of what they put forth on Two Dancers. And fewer people will make a face when you put it on.

“I think a lot of people get lazy making leftfield music,” Fleming says. “It comes off as a bit ungenerous and uninviting. We want to find a balance.”

Smother is by far the prettiest thing the band has put to tape, as the hanging, loping guitarwork of “Loop the Loop” and horn-laden balladry of “Invincible” will attest. You can hear a bit more of their avant-pop influences in a song like “Bed of Nails,” a sexy sister song to “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush (an admitted influence), and Thorpe’s feminized voice doesn’t sound so far off from Thom Yorke’s in the soaring beauty of “Albatross.”


“I think one of the things that kind of makes us the band we are is no one gets to do completely what they want,” Fleming says. “It’s always a collective struggle.”

Wild Beasts play the Echoplex Oct. 13 with angeleno EMA (get tickets here). Check out her “What’s in My Bag?” feature below! And don’t sleep on her excellent debut Past Life Martyred Saints, a pure pleasure for fans of '90s female-fronted rock (echoes of PJ Harvey, Björk, Liz Phair). Meanwhile, Wild Beasts play Santa Cruz’s Rio Theatre tonight, then LA, before playing Treasure Island Music Festival in San Francisco on Sunday. Check out the rest of the amazing lineup for that show and buy tickets here.


The '80s List: Part 7

Posted by Amoebite, August 26, 2011 11:04am | Post a Comment
Cabaret VoltaireOne day at Amoeba Hollywood I proclaimed that Aztec Camera's 1983 release High Land, Hard Rain was one of the best records of the '80s. This single statement eventually led to over 200 Amoebites ranking their top 10 favorite albums from the ‘80s.

From the beginning we realized that it was impossible for most of us to condense our favorites from all genres into a tiny top ten list. So, we limited our lists to Rock/Pop and its sub-genres like punk, metal, goth, and new wave. Even so, it was a difficult selection process because not only are there hundreds of amazing records to consider, there is also the added dynamic of time.

The '80s were a long time ago and the music has had many years to gestate. We have a deep sense of nostalgia and sentiment with these albums as our fondest memories are associated with them. These are albums we LOVE.

- Henry Polk

P.S. We'll be posting new additions to the '80s list project from Amoeba staff members on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. See all entries in our '80s list series.

P.P.S. The '80s List Book is available for sale at Amoeba Hollywood.


Kara Lane
The Smiths – The Smiths (1984)
Echo & The BunnymenPorcupine (1983)
The English Beat I Just Can’t Stop It (1980)
SpecialsSpecials (1980)
Love & RocketsExpress (1986)
PixiesCome On Pilgrim (1987)
Cocteau TwinsBlue Bell Knoll (1988)
The Cure – Boys Don’t Cry (1980)
XTC – Skylarking (1986)
X – Los Angeles (1980)

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(Wherein I meow.)

Posted by Job O Brother, June 14, 2011 10:17am | Post a Comment

Assholes.

Sometimes my cats are so cute, it annoys me. Especially if they’re being passively cute – you know, just laying in a sunbeam, exposing their bellies – not even trying, but so effwording adorable it just pisses me off and makes me want to stomp them.

It reminds me of when you see a girl who’s so fine, she almost becomes a villain. Like she’s doing it just to torment you. Like, wow you are the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen you asshole.

Is there anyone out there with technical know-how who lives in LA that can help me put together my podcast? You must be house-broken, not say mean things about diet Coke, know how to record and broadcast a podcast, and never trick me into getting addicted to heroin (please).

I’m drinking kiefer and listening to Lil’ Kim. Don’t take it personally.

I’m concerned, a teeny bit, about the phenomena of cute cats on the Internet. Increasingly, I’m seeing how the no-fail excitement of kitty-cams and what-not is impacting, not only the World Wide Web, but TV commercials as well. Word is out, and cat footage has gone viral on our screens like AIDS on the prettiest boys of 1984.

Now I’m listening to Jayne County and the Electric Chairs. I’m out of kiefer, so I’m drinking coffee.

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