When a Vinylholic Visits Amoeba Music in Hollyweird: Part 1
Forget what you heard, vinyl is the ultimate remedy when you’re looking for a pick-me-up. Feeling down, but looking for an adventure? Hit up a nearby record shop. Feeling down in general? Time to crack open that collection you’ve been building and – “turn on, tune out, and drop out” – Timothy Leary. As long as you treat your prized wax with nothing but TLC, those good vibes will rise and rise again (aka when you’re listening to them properly.) Last weekend I made a trip to the mecca of record shops in Southern California, Amoeba Music located in Hollywood. I always enter a record shop with the best of intentions – but my last visit to this kingdom was the day after Weekend 1 of Coachella (4/18) and I thought I covered the bases quite well as I exited the store with the heaviest bag ever. As a matter of fact, I ended up struggling to cut ties and leave a few loved ones behind thinking, “oh I will be back in 2 weeks for another round.” If it’s meant to be, what you left behind will still be waiting for you when you return. This is definitely a vinyl haul that exists out of pure surprise, and although the building was slightly crowded at the time – it didn’t have an effect on my experience.
1. Morly – EP Collection
First things first, I DIE OVER THIS COVER ART. If you didn’t already know – there’s a fascination that runs in my blood that attracts me to cover artwork that features an image that either stares directly into the camera, or turns their back on you. Similar to what label mates Yumi Zouma released, this record contains Morly’s first 2 EPs: Something More Holy & In Defense of My Muse, making it a limited edition vinyl. This is the kind of record you want to spend your Sunday(s) with – zero cares in the world that would distract you from the beauty that Katy Morley & STiNT unleash in this body of work with assistance from Max Whippie (Plucky, Polo Pond), Greg Ziiboorg (Polo Pond), Henry Allen, and Djavan Santos. P.S. Shout-out to Cascine, because you’re doing it right.
2. Tourist – U
Just going to throw this out there, U is easily a competitor for holding one of the top 10 spots for best albums of 2016. The debut full-length from London-based songwriter and electronic guru William Phillips is just as full-bodied as we hoped it would be. In short: Tourist omitted the excess frills and locked down what it takes to deliver solid dance music. *Infinite thumbs up emoji*
3. The Kills – Midnight Boom
Until this trip – I’ve only stumbled across the duo’s last full-length Blood Pressures on vinyl and always made a note to check their section for something else to add to the collection. Needless to say when I saw the first 2 records from Jamie Hince & Alison Mosshart’s monster of a band – I lost my shit. It’s nearly impossible to call yourself a fan of The Kills without citing a lyric that ricochets off the bone. We’re less than a month away from the new album – but if you are feeling a little iffy with your knowledge of this band’s first few years of existence, drop everything and dive into Midnight Boom in addition to their first record Keep On Your Mean Side. Seriously, trust those words you just read in your head.
4. Operators – Blue Wave
Alright, alright, ALRIGHT. As someone who admired Wolf Parade with the leftovers of my heart and soul in my late teens/early twenties – it’s hard at first to accept new projects yet still maintaining loyalty to the former when you recognize a familiar voice. Dan Boeckner has proven himself through a handful of established projects/bands over the last few years that he can pretty much do anything and still make your jawline quiver. The first time I caught Operators was back in 2014 when they opened for Future Islands at the Fonda, and for a trio that only had an EP out at the time – Boeckner, Sam Brown, and Devojka could’ve made me a believer that if someone told me that they’ve been around for years. I was floored by not only how well they sounded/appeared as a band, but how well the crowd reacted to them with a small handful of nostalgic comments that made you feel warm when there’s an awesome turnout for the opening band. SPOILER ALERT: The record is white and details on one side of the sleeves that it was recod in a barn and a basement by Graham Walsh.
5. New Order – Power, Corruption, & Lies
Do I need to explain myself on why I instantly leaped when my eyes recognized that infamous cover? Didn’t think so. If anything I would have felt the guilt to explain why I skipped this record if I didn’t take it home with me that day. I’ve been searching for what feels like eternity to find this record, and to have this gem under my roof means more to my ears than what you could ever imagine. What a time to be alive in the 80s except I only spent 22 days. Challenge me to belting any and every song on this album via karaoke and I will annihilate – just saying.