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Allah-Las: How working at a record store helped the band get its start




Allah-Las performing at Amoeba Records in Hollywood, where three of the band's members once worked.
Allah-Las performing at Amoeba Records in Hollywood, where three of the band's members once worked.
James Kim/KPCC
Allah-Las performing at Amoeba Records in Hollywood, where three of the band's members once worked.
Allah-Las writing the set list in the Amoeba green room moments before they recently performed.
James Kim/KPCC


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As U2, Beyonce and Radiohead are pushing the digital platform to sell albums, lesser-known bands are selling more records through vinyl. At least that's the case for L.A.’s garage-rock band Allah-Las

 

The band formed in 2008 when most of the members were working at Amoeba — L.A.'s largest record store. Drummer Matthew Correia says that's also where the band's sound was shaped. 

"We worked upstairs ... switching CD cases into new ones and we listened to a lot of records that way." 

One record Correia was influenced by was "I Tried to Save This Love of Ours" by Faine Jade — a '60s psychedelic-garage-rock band. 

 

Correia says when he learned to play drums, he played along to this song. 

"I think it was just the way they recorded the drums for those demos. Not a lot of mics, and things are kind of simple. And I think that I was used to hearing things that were polished and turned down, and that affected me. I thought it was pretty cool." 

Another record the band stumbled upon at a record store was "Back to Stay" by Bridget St. John.

 

Bassist Spencer Dunham says he was attracted to the '60s British folksinger's voice, which sounds a lot like Nico from The Velvet Underground. 

"That's one of the most heartbreaking songs I've ever heard and it was produced by someone who was involved with Pink Floyd's early records and they used this thing called the celestial organ on it, and it has this very ethereal vibe." 

Singer Miles Michaud says he frequented Amoeba throughout high school and discovered a lot of artists he would have never found otherwise. Michaud says, "It was the beginning of a long musical journey." 

Allah-Las new album, Worship the Sun, will be released in record stores on Sept. 16.



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