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Exodus shocker -- the latest Hollywood Bible cartoon isn't very realistic

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 17, 2014 09:06am | Post a Comment

The other day I found out that some people are outraged by the casting in a Hollywood film -- in this case Ridley Scott's latest effort, Exodus: Days of Future Past (or whatever its full title is). They're apparently so upset that they're boycotting it, which is something I do with all but one or two Hollywood films every year although I refer to it simply as not paying to see it.

The problem that the boycotters have, it seems, is that Exodus is almost completely historically inaccurate (It's safe to guess that most of the Egyptian and Jewish characters are most portrayed by Anglo-Saxons and presumably speak Modern (if pretentious) English with a modern British accent, or approximation of one. Without having watched a trailer I'd guess that there aren't a lot of apparently Middle Eastern Africans portraying Middle Eastern Africans and the actual actors of African descent are used entirely for background color and supporting roles). 

Apparently these scandalized and offended won't-be viewers have never seen a Hollywood film before... or assumed that they'd somehow completely change their raison d'etre. Even at Hollywood's artistic peak in the 1930s, racial sensitivity and historical accuracy were not exactly hallmarks of Hollywood films -- making loads of money was, and that's what they did and they did it well. At one point Hollywood made loads of money with elaborately choreographed, brilliantly scored, escapist musicals. Nowadays Hollywood makes loads of money with loud CGI superhero cartoons. Sometimes -- rarely -- art slips through the cracks. Much more often big, dumb-looking movies like Exodus get released that look rather like the big, dumb movies that Hollywood was mostly pumped out for the last 90 years.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Belgian Superstar Stromae

Posted by Amoebite, December 16, 2014 05:43pm | Post a Comment

Stromae

With influences ranging from rap to '90s Eurodance to Jacques Brel, genre-bending artist Stromae is a rising global star. Born Paul Van Haver to a Flemish mother and a Rwandan architect father who was killed in the 1994 Tutsi Genocide, Stromae grew up in Brussels with his four siblings. After struggling throughout Stromae Racine Carreehis school career, he began rapping under the stage name Opsmaestro in 2000 before reversing the syllables in the word "maestro" and changing his moniker to Stromae. In 2009, he was working as a trainee at a Belgian radio station when he gave his single "Alors on danse" to the music manager who played the track on air. A year later, Stromae burst onto the international scene with his debut album, Cheese. His 2013 release, Racine Carree, has gone platinum eight times in Belgium and has stayed strong at the #1 spot in album charts across Europe. With beats that get feet tapping, lyrics that tackle topics like AIDS and absent fathers, and a modern global aesthetic, Stromae is not the typical pop star. This fall, he collaborated with Lorde, Haim, Q-Tip and Pusha-T on a track for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay--Part I soundtrack.

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Top Ten Essential Hip-Hop Albums of 2014

Posted by Billyjam, December 16, 2014 11:13am | Post a Comment



1) DJ Qbert Extraterrestria + GalaXXXian (Galactic Butt Hair Records)


Although only released digitally in 2014 following a successful Kickstarter campaign (vinyl to arrive at Amoeba in 2015), this instrumental album (Extraresstria) and its rap/emcee counterpart album (GalaXXXian) rate as my top pick(s) for the best hip-hop released in 2014. Apparently I'm not alone in thinking so; Extraterrestia is up for a possible Grammy award. The stated goal of DJ Qbert's new album, which the artist considers as a Wave Twisters Part II, is to present the sound of skratch music in the future as he sees it, or - as he said upon the release of the new project - "the time capsule response and interstellar transmission to any galactic civilization, alien or far-future human." The "Jimi Hendrix of the turntables" ably accomplishes both solo as producer/DJ as well as with such album collaborators as Kool Keith, Del the Funky Homosapien, Mr Lif, Dana Leong, and Chad Hugo, who (along with Tipsy) co-produce the album's best track - the soothing, dreamy, ethereal "Ascender (Agartha)."

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New Avi Buffalo Video

Posted by Amoebite, December 15, 2014 06:14pm | Post a Comment

Avi Buffalo at Amoeba Hollywood

Long Beach-based rocker Avi Zahner-Isenberg and his band Avi Buffalo performed a few songs from their Avi Buffalo At Best Cuckoldsophomore album, At Best Cuckold (Sub Pop), recently at Amoeba Hollywood. The new album finds Avi Buffalo building on the sound and aesthetic they crafted on 2010's self-titled debut. The first record found the young 19-year old Zahner-Isenberg and his cohorts writing songs filled with age appropriate context while showing signs of a true songwriter. Four years later and Avi Buffalo have grown up, just a little. At Best Cuckhold digs deeper into their West Coast brand of indie rock and you can hear the experience of a well oiled band seeping through the speakers. The songs are well structured and the production quality is great. You get the sense that Avi Buffalo are acting like responsible adults and then Zhaner-Isenberg reminds you not to take it too seriously with songs like, "Can't Be Too Responsible." 

In support of At Best Cuckold, Avi Buffalo played to an excited audience at Amoeba Hollywood. Watch the teaser below and check out more from this performance on Amoeba.com.

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14 Indie Rock Records That Would Make a Great Gift

Posted by Billy Gil, December 15, 2014 12:11pm | Post a Comment

Gift Ideas Indie Rock

There have been tons of records released under the nebulous indie rock genre this year that find new things to say within the confines of rock 'n' roll (The War on Drugs), or throw out the rules while still remaining pleasing to listen to (Ariel Pink). Here are 14 widely appealing records from this year that would make a great gift for just about any indie rock fan. 

the war on drugs





 

The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream

The War on Drugs’ dreamy country-rock music evokes slow motion, even as its songs move at a sprightly pace. The driving rhythm behind "Under the Pressure" is caked in heavily reverbed guitars and washes of synthesizer, even as real-life guitar solos and Adam Granduciel's vocals come through more clearly than ever before. Similarly "Red Eyes" is like some lost '80s collaboration between The Highwaymen and The Cure, effusing brilliant colors with its bright synths and yelping vocals, but the most stunning moment comes in the minute or so in the middle of the songs when a third of the sound is stripped away, leaving a gorgeous, introspective bridge before Granduciel's yelp brings everything crashing back, while the rhythm stays insistent as always. Lost in the Dream invites repeat listens—atmospheric pieces like "The Haunting Idle" keep things spacious, yet the band comes back for the Bruce Springsteen-vibing "Burning" in the albums latter half. As its title would suggest, it's an album to get lost in. It feels like seeing the entire open road ahead of you, coasting yet seemingly to move in place while the sun sets and middle-of-nowhere stations play Bruce and Tom Petty in the background.

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