I, for one, don't plan on hanging around. I honestly heard that the Bush administration set aside billions of dollars for some project in Antarctica. I can't remember where I heard it or any specifics but my theory is that global warming will soon cause a major disaster. Sea levels will rise, causing hordes of displaced, massive, occasionally cannibal Samoan and Maori populations to invade the continent-dwellers' homes- eating the skinny first and saving the chubby for last. The rich and powerful will retreat to the newly tropical Antarctica Maximum Security New Eden Colony like monks in the Dark Ages whilst those of us who've survived work the sand mines of the wastelands, occasionally fending off bands of marauders.
Too far fetched? Beyond our puny imaginations? OK, just look at Palestine and imagine apartheid on a global scale.
Amoeba Music & Phil Blankenship present
Saturday Dec. 1
25th Anniversary Screening!
Slumber Party Massacre
New Beverly Cinema
7165 W Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tell your friends!
The best tracks are the Danzig cover "Am I Demon", and the Phil Ochs cover "My Life". Yeah, there's an R. Kelly cover on there too, of "The World's Greatest", and it's funny and semi ironic and all, but I like other stuff on the cd much better.
Bonnie Prince Billy is always both covering and writing songs about identity and struggling with that whole thing! Previous tracks "Little Boy Blue" and "Wolf Among Wolves" both are about those kind of issues. Anyway, the Danzig track is slow and pretty and asks "Am I Demon?/I need to know". We all get the somewhat resigned answer by the end of the song. I love when BPB ends the phrases by singing waaay up high. It's lovely. It's fun to hear a song about demons that's all folky and acoustic and not screamed!
I'm a fan of Phil Ochs (See the name of my blog!), and it's great to hear someone like BPB covering him since he was such a talent and so brilliant and cutting. His lyrics are better than about 90% of everyone else's, give or take a few percentage points, of course. Anyway, "My Life" is a beautiful choice, and I guess it's yet another song about identity, about what life means and changes and paranoia and growing up. I guess it covers a lot of ground! It's really a poem:
Lately I've been digging in the crates, listening to a lot of hip-hop from the years 1990 - 1993 -- a time when there was a lot of good stuff coming out. It was part of hip-hop's 'golden era' after all -- from which some of the releases sound as good today as they did back then, while others sound even better in retrospect.
Case in point is the amazing 1991 self-titled debut from Organized Konfusion on Hollywood Basic. Wow! It is so good! Which is why it is held dear by so many hip-hop heads today. It is truly a classic. And people recognized that at the time -- critics at least, although the public didn't make it a commercial hit by any means. As the years progress though, the album gains more and more accolades.
Organized Konfusion was the talented duo of Pharoah Monch and Prince Po, who also produced this classic debut. When they started out Monch was the beatboxer and Po the main rapper but with the undeniably superior lyrical talents Pharoah Monch possessed he soon moved to center stage mic to shine -- as is evident throughout this amazing collection. My personal favorite tracks are "Open Your Eyes Fudge Pudge," "Walk Into The Sun," "Releasing Hypnotical Gases," "Audience Pleasers," "Prisoners of War," "Organized Konfusion," and the single "Who Stole the Last Piece of Chicken" (see video above).
Listening back to the album all the way through several times in a row was so rewarding and enjoyable for several reasons. One is that, unlike some other great hip hop groups from that era (Tribe, Gang Starr, etc), Organized Konfusion haven't been played to death. Another enjoyable factor of this album is that it just focuses on the talents of the two members. It's not weighed down with a million guests and crew members coming up -- like so many albums tend to be. In fact, the only guest here is O.C. (DITC), who makes a cameo on the single "Fudge Pudge."
Perhaps the holiday season has already taken something of a toll on my psyche, (though I do little shopping and I’m more or less done), I’m feeling a tad bit overwhelmed these last few days. I think it’s mostly due to the fact that my trusted computer is in the shop for some repairs, as is my guitar amp … and I think every electronic gadget I own. And on top of that, someone hacked into my own Myspace account. And today a plumber is suppose to show up and take care of a few problems we have here at the old homestead, but how often do plumbers actually show up on the day scheduled, and on time? I should perhaps lighten the mood, quit the blather - or just step boldly forth and augment the blather, and mention that I’m really fond of old school fear inducing literature on subjects like culture shock and modern paranoia, media paranoia, ("the medium is the message") … (my personal favorite faux-cultural-analytical phrase: “media derived fantasies”), conspiratorial governments, and discourses on the mechanization of middle class culture on their efforts to mute class … basically anything on the spooky-spooky future. I’ll just quote some Alvin Toffler here and put up a pretty picture of a galactic spiral. I’ll feel better. Hey, I do feel better!
"Man has a limited biological capacity for change. When this capacity is overwhelmed, the capacity is in future shock."
In short the definition of future shock is a personal sensitivity to "too much change in too short a period of time". I think Toffler is speaking to me directly, and that’s not a good sign!
I recently came across one of Toffler’s old books in a thrift store, The Third Wave. I glanced through it, and it’s not as richly paranoid as I would like it to be- I need more suspicion. If I was on my own computer, I could just click over to some eerie bookmarked pages, and just settle in with a nice cup of Earl Grey tea. There is a crumb of comfort there, don’t know why, but on some of these sites I find just enough soothing reassurance that whatever the hell is going on, seems to keep right on going on. It’s a disquieting assurance, yes, but it’s consistent, besides you know in this day and age you grab whatever peace you can find, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that. Now, now ... here's looking at you kid.
I remember when they were looking to buy the house they live in now a couple of years back. I drove with my mother to Vegas to check out the house. I remember walking into the place and thinking how “faaabulous” the house was. The owners weren’t there, but because of the numerous naked Greco-Roman statues, posters of Broadway musicals and the abundance of I Love Lucy show memorabilia, I had concluded that the house belonged to an older gay couple. Then there was the backyard. Rome suddenly turned into Martin Denny’s Quiet Village, complete with faux Polynesian totem poles, tropical plants and Tiki torches. My mother, on the other hand, was clueless.
After a quick look through the house, I asked my mother,
“Are the owners of the house an older gay couple?”
She looked at me like I was crazy.
“No” she replied. “I met the husband the first time I came to see the house. He said he had a partner.”
I looked at her like, “And…”
She continued. “Yeah, and he had a cute dog too.”
“What kind of dog was it?” I had to ask.
“A white poodle!”
It's told in sort of a contrived fairy tale structure with narration and whimsical cartoons which I found a bit annoying but I could imagine the more whimsically-inclined enjoying. Lotan attempts to track down both his Mohel and his estranged foreskin. In the process he engages his uncircumcised boyfriend, his mother, an adult Russian immigrant who undergoes the surgery to feel more whole, a seven year old Muslim kid with little idea what "becoming a man" entails and a group of Jews vehemently opposed to this strangely anachronistic and (more strangely) run-of-the-mill ritual.
Lotan presents compelling arguments. As a gay Jew, he still doesn't fit in, even without his foreskin, so why is it that his not-especially religious mother thought that penile similarity would ensure his acceptance in a society that probably never knows what his penis looks like unless speedos are popular in Israel? Why not get him a nose job or gender reassignment? Maybe remove some moles and birthmarks too.
1) Press 0 at each prompt, ignoring messages
2) Say "operator" at each prompt, ignoring messages
3) Don't press or say anything
4) Say "agent" at each prompt
5) Say fuck, shit, or bitch
Foolishly I assumed making a few calls, as I did earlier today, to AT&T, B.O.A., and EBMUD wouldn't take but a few minutes or be too difficult a task -- especially since I am "a valued customer" with each company. But that privelege today or any day never seems to shorten the time wasted on the phone trying to bypass some automated voice options just to get to talk to a human at a company that already has my business.
People tend to forget that getting directly through to an actual person when you pick up the phone used to be a given in customer service. But not in these high-tech but low-overhead, outsourcing times, when most companies would rather you do everything automated online and not put them through the expense of hiring actual humans. Hence when you try to call up to talk to a person it is rarely a simple task. Usually it is like entering a voice system obstacle course -- one that's gonna take time and bit of wit and a lot of patience.
The pre-programmed voice (often a woman's) on automated phone systems will do all it can to waste your time before (if ever) it lets you talk to that elusive human voice on the phone. It will suggest you press certain buttons. It will assault you with an arsenal of (seemingly) pertinent questions. And, guaranteed, it will always remind you about the company's website. Did you know you could save 5% on your monthly bill just by registering online? In other words -- get off the goddam phone. But the ever-professional sounding automated voice will never use those exact words, since it "really values your business."
Brad and I went to see I'm Not There this weekend and we loved it. He covered the Todd Haynes territory in this blog he posted earlier this week, but I thought I should chime in a little since I'm a big Dylan fan.
The movie is very stream of consciousness, kinda like most Dylan songs. If you have not seen it yet, please don't go to the theater expecting something easily followed, with a traditional narrative storyline, cause it's not like that at all. In fact, that was one of the reasons I really liked the film-- it was different and unafraid to be so. Throughout the film I wondered what others in the theater were making of the movie, and I wondered esp what those who may not be big fans of Dylan were thinking. It seems like it would be pretty hard to follow if you didn't know much about him. Dylan has always avoided being concretely characterized or pinned down by anyone or anything, and it was so cool to see someone as fantastic as Todd Haynes working within that fact and making it into something creative instead of trying to create a typical biopic.
There are 6 different actors each portraying a different aspect or period of Dylan's life. Cate Blanchett has been getting all the press for this film it seems, and she deserves it-- she's brilliant! All the details in the movie were just perfection-- it's obvious that Todd Haynes did a heck of a lot of homework to make this film happen. I have to admit sometimes I thought it was weird to recreate scenes from his life or to take things that have happened and refashion them when this really is about a real person, but overall I was willing to suspend my belief and just go with the film as another piece of art.
(Has nothing to do with this blog entry.)
I wish I didn’t like Kathy Griffin so much. It’s such a cliché – me and my boyfriend, Corey, on our way to the foreign country known as Orange County, to see Ms. Griffin perform at the (and how’s this for a cute name) Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall (I think I’m naming my kid that, you know, if it’s a girl).
It was Friday and Corey picked me up, fresh off a typical eight-hour shift in the soundtracks department of your favorite record store. It took about fifteen minutes before I realized that the man sitting next to me was my boyfriend and not someone hoping for a restroom, a wall-item, an “Amoeba buck”, or the “I’m Not There” soundtrack. I relaxed immediately and we discussed matters that are none of your business in amorous tones. Also I ate gum.
Have you tried this stuff yet? The Orbit “sweet mint” flavor? It tastes exactly like chocolate-mint ice cream and is so sumptuous it makes me barf a little, spiritually. Don’t ever try it unless you like being weirded out by deliciousness. I wish it had never been born. I need a piece now. Excuse me…
(That's me there, next to the dude with the thing.)
…Okay, so we made it to the Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in plenty of time, despite getting lost a while (we were distracted from following directions by a heated conversation about thantophobia and Scrabble). We saddled up to the uncozy Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall bar for cocktails and a quick trip to the Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall restroom for men.
What I find surprising about this year is that there have been tons of great releases out throughout the year. I have not liked this many albums in one year in a very long time. Yet there seems to be nothing coming out this holiday season. There are still tons and tons of great albums out there. Thousands of great albums from years past. But just not much new out right now. So I have been trying to use this time wisely. I have been going back in time lately and discovering old albums from decades past. But I have also been spending this extra time catching up on all the great albums that came out this year. I am obsessed with that new Sally Shapiro album "Disco Romance" right now. It is the funnest album out this year since Lily Allen. Sort of like a more modern version of Stacey Q. Like a mix of all the great and fun things about 80's electro and freestyle. But still sort of relevant and exciting. I also am a bit obsessed with Pelle Carlberg. His latest album "In A Nutshell" came out about six months ago but I just found the time to give it a proper listen. And now I can't stop. It really is brilliant. Both Sally Shapiro and Pelle Carlberg are from Sweden. I guess it is just a coincidence. But maybe not. Two of my other favorite albums of the year also come from Sweden. "Night Falls Over Kortedala" by Jens Lekman and "West Coast" by Studio both come from the land of Sweden. Jose Gonzalez is also from Sweden and I am also in love with his album this year "In Our Nature." The Shout Out Louds are from Sweden as well. What is going on this year. Sweden is taking over my life. The Knife and Love Is All are also from Sweden and they both had two of my favorite albums from last year. And I always had a special place in my heart for ABBA. But I never really thought much about Sweden until this year when I started realizing all my favorite albums were from Sweden. So don't get too depressed if you don't think there are any good albums out this month. There are plenty of albums for you to catch up on. You can just spend a couple months getting to know all the great music coming out of Sweden alone. There are also two brilliant albums out recently on Italians Do It Better. Both "Night Drive" by the Chromatics and "Beatbox" by Glass Candy are absolutely fantastic. You will not be able to stop listening to them once you stop.
And while there may not be hardly any new release DVDs or CDs coming out this month or last. There are a ton of movies out in the theater right now. I just saw "I'm Not There" last night at the brand new remodeled Kabuki Theatre last night. I have been excited about this movie since I first found out about it a couple years ago. Todd Haynes has been a longtime hero of mine. I have loved every single one of his movies and they have all been completely different but all equally brilliant. The first film I saw of his was "Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story." The movie has never been properly distributed and is sort of hard to find. It chronicles the life of Karen Carpenter and is all told with Barbie Dolls as the actors. Both Richard Carpenter and Mattel are not big fans of the movie and I am sure it is near to impossible to get this movie released on DVD. Maybe someday. I even did a whole paper for my independent film class on the the movie Superstar. The paper sort of turned into a paper on how hard it was to find a copy of the film on video. His first real movie "Poison" (1991) and his second "Safe" (1995) are also both out of print on DVD. Maybe there are some exciting reissues on the way. But we might have to wait until "I'm Not There" comes out on DVD next year. Safe remains one of my favorite movies and Julianne Moore is brilliant as a woman who develops multiple chemical sensitivity. Todd Haynes movies tend to come out every 3 or 5 years. But they are always worth the wait. His glam rock docudrama "Velvet Goldmine" came out in 1998. This movie had an amazing soundtrack just like his new film "I'm Not There." The Velvet Goldmine soundtrack included a mix of new and redone songs. However the I'm Not There soundtrack is all covers of Bob Dylan songs. There are 34 songs on this soundtrack. Songs by Sonic Youth, Cat Power, Calexico, Sufjan Stevens, The Black Keys, Antony & The Johnsons, Yo La Tengo, Mark Lanegan, Karen O, Mira Billotte, and John Doe. I know this will be a shock, but I am not really even much of a Bob Dylan fan. I have always loved him as a person ever since I saw "Don't Look Back." This was the documentary that the great D.A. Pennebaker made about Bob Dylan's 1965 tour of England. I have tried for years to get into the great Bob Dylan. But nothing has worked for me. Until Now. The movie is just possibly one of the most amazing films that I have seen. And something is finally making me like Bob Dylan.
Todd Haynes continued to impress me with his film "Far From Heaven" in 2002. I saw this film on Thanksgiving in 2002. Almost 5 years ago exactly. This was a drastically different film since his film before this, Velvet Goldmine. Far From Heaven starred Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid living in 1950's suburbia. The film was nominated for four oscars but really should have been nominated for Best Picture as well. The film was brilliant because it was filmed in the style of those old 1950 films. It was very similar to "Imitation of Life" directed by Douglas Sirk. The film starred Lana Turner and came out at about the same time her daughter was on trial for murdering her boyfriend. While both films dealt with race relations in the 50's, Todd Haynes film also deals with homosexuality in the 50's. But it handles it in ways that would never be possible in 50's cinema. Far From Heaven deals brilliantly with a man dealing with his own homosexuality and coming out of his closet and also the anguish of his wife. But all in the style of a 50's film. It is not a spoof about 50's film or some pale imitation. Todd really captured the feel of a 50's film brilliantly. And Julianne Moore is always amazing. She also stars as Joan Baez in "I'm Not There." She was even good way back in her first film in 1992, "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle." But after Short Cuts I was forever sold on the brilliance of Julianne Moore. Far From Heaven is close to perfect and not like anything you are likely to ever seen again.
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter ...
A misfit Catholic from a time and a place where just being Catholic made you a misfit, Francis Thompson lived a down and out life in London's late 1800's. An opium addict, failed doctor and failed priest who found his savior in many forms, down many an odd avenue, his story is simply fascinating. He died Nov 13th 1907 from TB, his later years spent nursing himself after the disappearance of his muse and savior, a prostitute who had been housing and supporting him.
What is it about that song, "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond that people like so much? Because people really do like that song. I've seen many the person (despite whatever their core musical preference might be) just let loose and howl along with those well worn lyrics: "Where it began, I can't begin to know when...touching me, touching you."
You'll hear em sing along with "Sweet Caroline" at parties and in bars. You'll even join in. I just heard it the other day at a Thanksgiving party in the Mission with everyone cheerily chanting along. And you always hear "Sweet Caroline" in sports stadiums -- mainly the Boston Red Sox fans at Fenway stadium games (see/hear clip below). It's also played at New York Rangers hockey games.
The song has been a part of popular music and culture since it was first released as a single in September 1969, when it went to #4 on the Top 40 charts and sold a million copies. Since then it has continued to sell (most people get it on one of the Neil Diamond hits packages) and of course Neil has continued to perform it.
Earlier this year Diamond performed the song for Caroline Kennedy at her 50th birthday celebration. She was the inspiration for the song, he said in an interview this year.
"Sweet Caroline" has also been featured in many movies, including the 2001 film Saving Silverman with Jack Black, Amanda Peet, and Steve Zahn. The film, about fanatical Neil fans, features a cameo from Diamond himself.
Beside a million karaoke versions of "Sweet Caroline," numerous artists have also covered the song over the years, including Waylon Jennings, Dave Matthews Band, Frank Sinatra, and Bobby Darin, who did it a bit slower and Elvis Presley, who did it a bit faster (see his performance below).
But what is it about "Sweet Caroline" that people like so much? That's not a rhetorical question. Is it that melody or is it those lyrics?
FYI- everything listed above is now gone....
Although, I think that they do have a golds gym & a rite aid in the area now...
OK, anyone with stories about these fine establishments or any of the others I've pictured here, please let us hear it. Where and what was Quonset Hut???
You think people get crazy around here the day after Thanksgiving; check out this shopping frenzy in the UK last January. A cargo ship, the
The beach on the secluded, rural, former hippie Marin County oceanside town of Bolinas, CA (about an hour north of SF) is perhaps the last place where you would expect to greeted by a huge bright display of graffiti, but there it is -- lots of it and other public art too. The type of art and graffiti on the walls nearby and along the beach at Bolinas (popular with surfers) varies in both style and quality. Most seems passionately painted, and obviously inspired by the unqiue picturesque setting that the art is created in. Mostly done on the walls, it's occasionally -- as above -- on fallen or washed up tree trunks. There's a lot big graf pieces and also lots of small illustrations, tags, images, and paintings. There's even a wall of painted poetry and stoner and surfer doodles. But mainly it's large graffiiti style pieces on the wall along the beach thrown up -- not at night but in the daytime and without apparent fear from authorities, unlike in the city where graf artists risk been arrested (as felons) at any moment.
Below is a group of graf artists working openly with all their spray cans out by one of the beach's walls on a Sunday afternoon earlier this year when most of the pics in this AMOEBLOG (part two) were taken.
According to some artists, the lifespan of pieces along the windswept ocean beach (with salt air) is much shorter than usual and hence many pieces are frequently painted over. What I think makes the art along the beach at Bolinas so cool is the most unique setting that it is so fortunate to occupy -- a relaxed, open space on a great beach with lush green hills towering behind. It's ideal for creating art of any kind!
It seems like I am just a little too young to have caught on to The Smiths, his earlier band, or to have heard any more of him than the single "The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get" on the radio in 1994. In high school, when kids a few years older than me were clinging to their Morrissey CDs with dour faces, I was still bopping to The Beatles. I guess I wasn't ready for it yet. Fast forward to just a couple of years ago, and Morrissey suddenly had a new surge in popularity among the hipster crowd. At that point, I had well heard of The Moz, as he is known in certain circles, but this new over- the- top hipster cred popularity he had gained turned me off and I still never got around to listening to his music.
Finally, this last week I have picked up a Morrissey CD-- Your Arsenal (1992)-- and listened. One very strong sign of a great CD is when it's still very new to you but you can't get the songs out of your head and they seem to be following you around constantly -- when you lay your head on the pillow at night, when you are out grocery shopping, or waiting on the train. This happened to me with Your Arsenal almost immediately. One other thing that is exciting about Morrissey is how funny his music is! I love that about him! What took me so long to embrace his music? One of the songs on Your Arsenal that is a favorite is entitled "We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful". Another fave is "You're the One For Me, Fatty". His sense of humor is so dry I'm never quite sure if he's serious or not, but the fact that he's British cues me in to the fact that he's probably just being silly -- I believe we call that "tongue in cheek". And how refreshing is that? -- silly, sad songs of yearning and intelligence. I do see why all those dour high school kids saw Morrissey as the second coming. I know everyone else figured this out over a decade ago, maybe even longer, but I am just a little bit slow here! It's all kind of new to me. Still, I am glad I have waited until it felt right to me to listen. I think I'm going to end up listening a bunch more. Maybe I will finally catch up to the rest of you!
Say Anything is so cutting, hilarious and real, my friends and I still quote it on a daily basis, even though it came out back in 1989. (Among the most quotable moments: "Joe lies/When he cries".) It's a first love movie about the high school valedictorian and a schlumpy trench coat guy, and it's how so many of us fell in love with John Cusack. The thing that I like so much about Crowe's writing is that he's both honest and tender. It takes guts to be either of those things in Hollywood. The characters he creates are true to life-- they are flawed but lovable.
The following excerpt comes courtesy of AlterNet and TruthOut.Org, thanks to a link from Amoeba Marc who first spotted this engrossing and unsettling yet must-read interview posted a couple of days ago with Naomi Wolf, author of the book The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot. The title gives you an idea of what to expect. Below are just some key excerpts. For the full interview with AlterNet's Don Hazen, click on truthout.org's website, or read just the bits below, especially if you already have major concerns or worries over democracy and the state of the USA today.
If you think we are living in scary times, your worst fears may be confirmed by reading Naomi Wolf's newest book, The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot. In it, Wolf proves the old axiom that history does repeat itself. Or more accurately, history occurs in patterns, and in order to understand where our country is today and where it is headed, we need to read the history books.
Wolf began by diving into the early years leading up to fascist regimes, like the ones led by Hitler and Mussolini. And the patterns that she found in those, and others all over the world, made her hair stand on end. In The End of America, she lays out the 10 steps that dictators (or aspiring dictators) take in order to shut down an open society. "Each of those ten steps is now under way in the United States today," she writes.
December 4, 1619. 38 Brits got together in Charles Cittie. Captain John Woodleaf spake,
"Wee ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty god."
Wahunsenacawhk Matoaka John Rolfe
They had reason to give thanks after rocky relations with the natives started to calm down. Previously, after Chief Wahunsenacawh's daughter Matoaka (nicknamed Pocahontas) married John Rolfe, relations between the two peoples had improved. In the spring, however, new leader Opechancanough's adviser and famed warrior/magician Nemattanew (derided as Jack of Feathers by the English for his feathered costume) was murdered by two Englishman disproving Nemattanew's claim that a magic oil made him immune to gunfire.
If you are one of those individuals who has an uncooked turkey, a ton of people coming over for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, but don't have a clue as to how to go about cooking the bird coz you have never cooked a turkey before, then the above basic how-to-cook a turkey with Chef Tom should be of help. And if you are one of these harried people, you may wish to check out the first part in this simple how-to video guide by clicking here.
Of course, this was just the other day, meaning in these immediate post-Bay oil spill days. And even though technically Bolinas was not closed off to the public for fear of oil contamination and surfers were out en masse, it was still not completely safe, especially for dogs without leashes as you will see from some of the signs below, although that didn't deter a couple of canines that I saw running freely (without leashes) along the Bolinas beach. One of the reasons it was unsafe for dogs was because oil-contaminated birds were still showing up on the beach.
Above and below are some of the warning images from the beach at Bolinas, but mostly I've included images of graffiti art (of all sizes and types) along the beach walls and leading down to the beach.
This is Part One in a three part series. Part Two in this series will be posted in a few days and Part Three (which will include more big graffiti pieces) in about a week. Thanks for checking it! And if you know of any remote rural spots in NorCal where you also unexpectedly find graffiti or murals, please share in the COMMENTS box all the way down.
Just when you thought you couldn't get any more excited about Edgar Wright's festival at the New Beverly, we've come to blow your mind. The line up of Edgar's special guests are so incredibly awesome, you are going to thank us profusely for the best Christmas present you have ever received.
The following performances will feature introductions from Edgar and Q&A's with these special guests.
Dec 2nd 7.30pm – Bugsy Malone & Phantom of the Paradise
On the night of Dec 2nd , Edgar will start off the whole shebang with a very, very special guest. Not only the super talented composer of Bugsy Malone, but the star Phantom Of The Paradise, Mr. Paul Williams.
Yes, that's right, one of America's greatest songwriters will be in the house and talking to Edgar.
Also! December 2nd, at midnight is the Dangerous Business Secret Show, all are invited, and it's something you certainly won't want to miss!
Dec 5 – Flash Gordon & Danger Diabolik – 7.30pm
In attendance with Edgar will be everyone's favorite Flash nemesis, Prince Barin himself, Timothy Dalton.
Then Joe Dante will be helping Edgar introduce Mario Bava's cult classic Danger: Diabolik!
december 7 - The Last Boy Scout and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – 7.30pm
In attendance with Edgar, the writer of Last Boy Scout and the writer / director of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, as well as countless other crime classics, Shane Black, will be in attendance!
Dec 10 – American Werewolf in London and Tremors – 7.30pm
You can't get much more brilliant than John Landis, and we've got him! The director of American Werewolf will be in here in person and in conversation with Edgar.
December 12 - Top Secret and Bananas – 7.30pm
In attendance with Edgar tonight, a very special guest. When it comes to comedy, the name Zucker ranks high on the list. It doesn't get much funnier than Top Secret, and it doesn't get much more exciting than a Q&A with David Zucker himself!
If you answered "yes" to both questions, you have no excuses. At your earliest convenience (which is probably now if you're just fucking around and reading this), go get Metalocalypse Season One and WATCH IT!! Seriously. But finish reading this first.
Perhaps you've heard of a little thing called Adult Swim? It's the late night cartoon extravaganza which airs on Cartoon Network. Such shows as Robot Chicken, Moral Orel and Aqua Teen Hunger Force, oh, but to name a few, have quickly become some of my favorite cartoons ever. Check out this clip from Season Two of Robot Chicken:
That's some funny shit there.
But I am here today to tell you about Metalocalypse, the best fucking show on TV. Premiering last year, Metalocalypse centers around the exploits of the biggest, most metalest band in the world, Dethklok.
William Murderface plays bass. "No one in the world is full of more hatred than him. And he hates no one more than he hates himself." Skwisgaar Skwigelf is from Sweden, and plays guitar. He is the fasted Guitarist alive. Nathan Explosion is the "brutal vocalist and lyrical visionary of DETHKLOK." Pickles the Drummer "became the world's most celebrated drummer after fronting LA rock band "Snakes and Barrels." Toki Wartooth also plays guitar, and he is the second fastest Guitarist alive.
But NO. I do not have to resort to any of these slightly dangerous outlets!
Because I have Leslie and The Ly's ...
S o o p a - D a m n !
We are talking the #29 most watched video on YouTube this month. I FAINT!
How many views? Almost half a million souls have been HEALED by this Queen.
You go on and spoil ya-damn-self! Watch 'em all and be cured.
---------- The Insomniac
For your viewing pleasure... a random Columbia Records label gallery. I've included parent company CBS & subsidiaries...
A beautiful trio of Import labels.
The gray is French, Blue is Australian,
the Silver & Green is British...
Six Eye White Label Promo, an absolute classic design...followed by two more WLP for Roadshow & Just Sunshine imprints...
This is the complete collection of the series in a nice box set of DVDs which maybe you have seen some of already on BBC America or else on DVD already (it has been available in individual seasons before). If so, you already know just how crazy and downright hilarious this show can be. And this box set also includes a live concert.
True, it may take a minute to get into some of the characters or another minute to fully understand their sometimes thick UK accents, but once you do, you will be hooked and won't be able to stop imitating these silly silly British wits. It is hard -- and sort of unnecessary to describe -- but basically the plot of the show, which was based on a radio series, is that it takes an inside look at some of the strange yet very intriguing and curious characters that inhabit them there British Isles.
Below are some clips to better give you an idea of what to expect from Little Britain, which you should find in the DVD sections at all three Amoeba Music stores.
The box is officially called "The Brit Box: U.K. Indie, Shoegaze, and Brit Pop Gems of the Last Millennium." It really looks awesome. The box is shaped like one of those red telephone booths in England. I have never seen one up close but we all know what they look like. It even has a working light. It also comes with an 80 page book of interviews and photos. It includes essays by Alan Mcgee, Stephen Street, and Alan Moulder. It drives me a little crazy when box sets or collections have a random order to the track listing. So it made me happy to see that the tracks are all in a basic order. The box set is not perfect. But it comes really close. I own or have owned at one point almost all of the songs in this box. If I didn't own one of the albums that all these songs were on, then I definitely had a close friend that did. I might have picked a couple different songs for some of these artists and I probably would have included a couple more artists. But overall, the box is very impressive. I really can't wait to open one up and read all those interviews and stories in that fancy little booklet. And I can not wait to listen to all these songs again. I have never stopped listening to most of the bands in this box. The Smiths, Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine, The Stone Roses, Lush, Suede, Blur, & Pulp remain some of my favorite bands. It is really hard to even put into words the lasting effect that these bands have had on me and on a whole generation of music fans.
The title of prolific modern artist Ron English's book Son of Pop - Ron English Paints His Progeny pretty much explains the content of his recommended brand new 100-page, full color art book recently published by San Francisco's 9mm Books. Inside are paintings in the artist's usual irreverent, anti-corporate style (McDonalds and the tobacco industry being two of his favorite targets), only using his two children (Zephyr age 12 and Mars age 9 -- aka "the Kiss kids") as his subjects. For more information on the illustrious artist Ron English, who describes his work as "popaganda" and whose body of work and history is too long to go in to here, I recommend you check out his website or pick up the documentary about him, also titled Popaganda. Meantime, check out the selections of his art here and also read the interview he recently conducted with the AMOEBLOG about the new book Son Of Pop which also includes a mini 4-song CD featuring his same two kids singing such songs as Wesley Willis' "Rock and Roll McDonalds."
AMOEBLOG: When exactly were the paintings in Son of Pop made?
A picture paints a thousand words … what else is there to say!
“There’s a huge cargo ship serenely sunning on a beautiful stretch of beach!”
“Enjoy the special features Club Med has to offer at all their exotic locations.”
Anyway, as catastrophic as cargo wrecks tend to be, this one is like watching paint dry.
Anyway, I sat in my favorite spot and began my standard ritual: eating the first half of my baloney sandwich, sipping a strawberry Crush soda-pop, and crying. Just crying. Sobbing uncontrollably, like, to the point where even the homeless people look at me with faces that say, “Man, that dude has it bad.”
But don’t be fooled! I wasn’t sad. It was the book I was reading – it always makes me cry. Not because it’s about bone marrow cancer (it’s actually pretty upbeat and the recipes are not only delicious but good for those of us on a tight budget!). No, the reason it makes me cry is because its pages are made out of paper-thin sheets of glass which cut my hands horribly. Oh gosh, I mean, it really hurts. And the bloodier the pages become the slipperier it gets and it’s hard to get through a chapter without passing out from pain.
Did you know that if you pass out in the park people will leave you coins in your strawberry Crush soda-pop can? This is why I have hope for humanity.
But last Wednesday, something unusual happened to my usual routine. I was passed out under the tree (though not from injuries – this time it was because I had sniffed a freshly picked plumeria, only to discover that it was actually a tank of methoxyflurane) and was brought back to consciousness by a young man performing CPR on me. (For those of you who don’t know what CPR is, it’s a thing.)
Perhaps the strangest thing about Raising Sand, the magical collaboration between fiddler/chanteuse Alison Krause and rock god Robert Plant, is how much of a leap each of them had to take to record it. For both, they claimed that the recording required them to step out of their usual bailiwicks-- bluegrass and rock-- and into other song realms. But when you consider that bluegrass and rock are all basically offshoots of folk and blues, how could the jump be that hard?
The answer lies in their innate musicianship. Each of them understands their respective genres so profoundly, that any skitter outside of the “box” involves for them all new landscapes of vocalizing, arranging, and experimentation. To the rest of us it just sounds like more great-American music.
The difference comes down to small things. Plant, who admitted never really singing harmony before, says the project was a whole new, and therefore intimidating, song structures and performed bits that she says she would never have chosen for herself. experience. And as for Krauss, she says that she stepped out of her normal Bluegrass
In the Classic Hollywood era, Chinese women (like all Asians) were generally played by white actresses as shy, subservient innocents totally devoted to their white lovers. Chinese men were usually portrayed as cruel, buck-toothed, long-fingernailed mystics who delighted in tormenting the white heroes who'd fallen for their women. Or, they were depicted as simple, asexual, buck-toothed peasants who almost always wear a queue. Either way, it's only the women that are sexualized.
The Life of Reilly, Starring Charles Nelson Reilly, at the Lumiere!
Film version of one-man show by the late gay actor/director Charles Nelson Reilly best known for his "Match Game" appearances!
Showing at 7:30 9:15 at the Lumiere 1572 California Street at Polk
So, borrowing from the later period Stevie Wonder catalog, I call this group of promo stickers "In Square Circle". Above we have the lovely Barbara Mandrell from her "Moods" LP...I came across a big stash of sealed copies recently!
Here we've got a couple of stickers, one of which is not circular, but I'll include it anyway.
Up next, a custom job...someone made their own grammy brag for our favorite band of sidemen...Up next, more Grammy bragging...
Beer tragedy struck in Canada on the Trans Canadian Highway towards Thunder Bay when a delivery truck, filled with cases of Grolsch, swerved and narrowly missed a moose that had stumbled onto the highway losing most of its cherished Premium Dutch Lager cargo.
What a sad day. Somewhere out there is a cheerlessly sober family spending an abstemious wintry night in freezing Northern Ontario. An odd little twist to the entire saga, Grolsch is brewed in a completely natural process using no animal by-products like isinglass, gelatin, cartilage, etc. In fact, Grolsch received the "Best Vegetarian Beer" award from the UK Vegetarian Society in 2003. I never knew there were vegan-friendly beers. No wonder I felt oddly ill at ease last time I drank a Grolsch at a barbeque
Harmonix Music Systems' ever-popular Guitar Hero series is, like, so last week. Move over Guitar Hero and make way for Triangle Hero above and Cowbell Hero below.
TOP THREE MOST REQUESTED THINGS AT AMOEBA MUSIC HOLLYWOOD'S INFORMATION COUNTER THIS WEEK ACCORDING TO TIM RANOW:
#3 - parking ticket validation
#2 - green Amoeba dollar off coupons.
#1 - directions to the Amoeba public
restroom (there isn't one.)
AMOEBLOG: Tim, how long have you worked at Amoeba, what is your job at the store, and how exactly did you end up working at Amoeba Music Hollywood?
TIM RANOW: I lived with Laurie W. in San Francisco in the Santiago Party House for six years. We hosted several Amoeba get-togethers. I got booted from Wired magazine and decided to move to Los Angeles. Amoeba and I seemed to have a lot in common, so we formed a special something. I've been at the Hollywood store since 2001. I'll be celebrating my 47th anniversary with Amoeba in 2048! I'm an information person at Amoeba. I'll figure out what the name of that country singer you're looking for is even if you only know that his name might be John or Ronnie and his last name might have the letter "J" in it somewhere. Then I'll tell you where you can find it used on cassette tape because I know your money is tight. I remember that your cousin isn't allowed CDs in prison due to the inherent shankiness factor.
AMOEBLOG: And what's good about working at Amoeba?
TIM: I work with talented and wondrous people in the funnest [sic] and coolest environment ever! People get really excited visiting where I'm getting paid to be. That is pretty rad!
AMOEBLOG: What's a good place to grab a bite nearby Amoeba?
TIM: Arby's, located at 5920 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles.
AMOEBLOG: How would you describe the LA music and/or arts community to people who know nothing about living in LA?
TIM RANOW: It's implosive!
AMOEBLOG: What do you think will be the future of the music biz and how people get their new music?
TIM: I'll tell you what I tell people at the information counter when asked this question: Please hold.
There are still 28 employees that have been here for that entire time, if you can believe it!
Original employees, we salute you:
Dave Aberdeen, Barry, Brian D., David James, Derrick M., Donnell, Doug Pagan, Greg C., Jefferson, Kima, Luis S., Orlando, Pittman, Richard B., R.W., Stacey, Tom Lynch, Tom Maffei, Tony G., Allen, Brandon, Gabriel W., Josh, Mike B., Rico, Steve L., Suzanne, and Esten!
Check out some party pics:
The first thing that you notice when you walk through the long, dimly-lit tunnels that lead to Battery Townsley which sits atop the hills on the Marin Headlands is that there's something missing: a certain smell. There is no smell of pee. Nope, the usual stank of urine -- something that I automatically associate with trekking though tunnels to take pictures of graffiti -- is noticeably absent there. So, too -- not surprisingly -- it seems are any signs of any graffiti. Although on one wall of the long tunnel I noticed the faintest trace of a big graffiti piece that looked like it had been painted over years ago. Maybe, I thought, the no pee stank was because of the two Port-O-Pottys conveniently placed near the tunnel entrance.
But whatever the reason, there was also no graffiti here, or so I was thinking until I spotted off to the right near the end of the long tunnel (one of several blasted by dynamite back during World War II when the battery was built) an opening that appeared to lead off to another smaller tunnel. I slowly stepped into this unknown darkened space which, it turned out, was not another tunnel but a low-ceilinged, cement-walled room. And it was pitch dark. Not having a flashlight, I slowly edged my way into the dark, windowless room. And once inside, my nostrils were awakened to that familiar stench. Piss. And sure enough -- graffiti wasn't far off.
As my eyes slowly got a bit accustomed to the lighting I could make out some graffiti on the walls that surrounded me and on the entrance to this claustrophobic, enclosed, window-less space. I couldn't make out much with the naked eye but the flash on my camera lit up all the graffiti nicely as it took pictures -- see all, displayed below. Also included in the pics below is an adjacent room plus a couple of low-key pieces of graf outside the tunnels like the R.I.P. on the (tombstone like) rock out in the forest area.
Last December off the coast of North Carolina, a cargo ship accidentally dropped a container overboard loaded with Doritos, thousands of bags washed up onto the local beach. But happily, for local residents, disaster was avoided; most of the bags were still airtight and edible.
Tonight is the night! Project Runway is FINALLY coming back to Bravo!! I am a huge fan of this show. It's maybe the only reality competition show that actually RULES.
I am one of those poor unfortunate souls who does not have cable so I have eagerly anticipated each season's release on DVD, and Season 3 just came out on DVD this week also, so I will be hitting that as soon as possible as well. Even though I already know who won Season 3, I can't wait to sink back into all the drama and the fashion. I tend to blaze through the whole season in only a few days, so it will be interesting that for Season 4, for the first time I will actually see it all unfold each week thanks to a friend's cable! I was a little late to the game with Project Runway, so this is actually the first time it's gonna be starting up a new season while I am on to it, and I will not miss an episode now!
Project Runway works so well because it has all these creative, intense, driven people working and living in such small quarters and under so much pressure. It's fabulous to watch them cope with the challenges, like making evening wear out of items bought from a half hour shopping spree in a grocery store, or designing an ice skating outfit in one day for Sasha Cohen after experiencing the ice and leotards for themselves. I love it.
I hate you! You said you had to work. Then why is your car here at her place? You're a liar.
I hate you. I hate you!
PS: Page me later
Pictured above, holding one of his countless finds, a photo/painting collage, is FOUND magazine co-founder Davy Rothbart and to the right is a transcription of the infamous, short, passionately scribbled note that he found on his car windshield one snowy morning in Chicago six years ago -- the very note that inspired him to initiate what would become a popular magazine (Found), a couple of books culled from the magazines, a popular website, a spinoff magazine (Dirty Found), and an excuse to tour the USA making connections with a whole subculture of people addicted to digging in the garbage or looking down on the sidewalk to find discarded or lost items (letters, to-do lists, photos, kids' paintings, napkin doodles, birthday cards, printed emails, etc, etc) to submit for publication in Found.
At the moment, Davy, who runs the popular and unique magazine with his brother/business partner Peter and a host of others, is currently in the midst of one of his "tours." The current Found Tour is a sixty five city trek across the USA and Canada during which he and his brother converge with fans at independent bookstores, libraries, community halls, bars, and small clubs. There they display "found" items, read aloud found letters, and with guitar and other accompaniment, perform musical interpretations of their finds, and, most importantly, meet other fans of found items who always bring along stuff that they've found -- much of which finds its way either into an issue of Found or on the Found Website where the Find of the Day is posted daily. I recently caught up with Davy, who was in the SoCal area last week for a series of Found shows in San Diego, Long Beach, and Los Angeles, to ask him about his magazine and in particular that note from Amber to Mario that started the whole thing.
Apparently this happens more often then you’d think on the Terschelling beaches. Last year thousands of tennis shoes, aluminum briefcases and children's toys washed ashore, I hope it was Saint Nicholas day.
"Mexican-American" (from Next Movie)
Favorite line: "Mexican Americans are named named Chata and Chela and Chema and have a son and law named Jeff..."
"Me And My Old Lady" (from Things Are Tough All Over)
This is one that slipped my mind for a minute. The song has that country-era Freddy Fender feel to it.
Favorite line: "Sometimes people space us out, so we make like a bread truck and haul buns out of there."
"Earache My Eye" (From Up In Smoke)
I was watching this recently and noticed that one of the horn players is none other than my mentor Ruben Guevara of Ruben and The Jets fame. A few weeks back I got see Ruben perform with members of the band Ollin at The Knitting Factory. They did a version of "Con Safos," Ruben's underground hit from the early 80's.
Russell Tyrone Jones, aka Ol' Dirty Bastard (usually shortened to ODB), one of the founding members of the famous Staten Island hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan, died on this day exactly three years ago (Nov 13th, 2004). Had he lived, he would have celebrated his 39th birthday in two days, on Thursday November 15th. The unique, gravely-voiced emcee took his rap name from a 1980 kung fu film entitled Ol' Dirty & The Bastard. It was exactly three years ago when the big news broke that he had collapased at Wu-Tang's studio, 36 Records LLC on West 34th Street, after a day of reportedly having difficulty breathing. He had been complaining of chest pains.
The Wu Tang member, who also was successful as a solo artist, will best be remembered as perhaps one of hip-hop's most eccentric personalities. What other rapper can you think of that filmed a video in his boxer shorts as the ODB did for his "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" video (scroll down)? Then, of course, there were the ODB's seemingly endless legal troubles. These legal woes included being arrested for public drunkeness on many occasions (Ol' Drunk Bastard was what he was labeled by Bill Bellamy at the VIbe awards one year, due to his inebriated condition) and being thrown in jail (2001) for possession of crack. ODB was also convicted of second degree assault for an attempted robbery. He even got himself shot after an argument with a fellow rapper. And, in a well- publicized case, got in trouble for failure to pay child support for three of his thirteen children. The list of legal woes goes on and on and even includes being arrested for shoplifting a pair of $50 shoes from a Foot Locker store in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Ironically, at the time the rapper had a wad of $500 cash in his pocket!.
Seriously, how is it November 13th already? Christmas is just right around the corner. There have really been a lot of great albums out this year already. I think that this year has been a lot better than the last couple years. I already have over 100 albums on my top 50 already. It's gonna be hard to get that down to just 50. I might have to share my top 100 with you this year instead of just my top 50. But whatever has come out this year has pretty much already come out. There are still a couple things to look forward to after this week, but not much. The Sigur Ros DVD comes out next week. The Mary J. Blige album finally comes out the week before Christmas. I am not really sure why they are waiting so long on this one. I really love the new song and video and am very excited to hear this one. I also love that Mary J. Blige. There is also the soundtrack to Sweeney Todd featuring the singing voice of Johnny Depp. I am so excited about this movie. I love Tim Burton so much I can't even stand it. And I love Johnny Depp. This movie does look amazing. Other than that, it is mostly reissues, greatest hits, deluxe editions and live albums. The standard holiday releases. But there is also this amazing box set coming out soon as well. It comes out November 20th. It is basically my music collection crammed into a box set. All of my favorites from England from the 80's and 90's. I can' t really imagine my life without the music in this box. Before I go on to this week. I need to tell you all to go see "Lars & the Real Girl." It really is the most amazing movie. The funniest thing that I have seen in a while. But also super touching and sweet. I can't really stop thinking about and I beg you all to go see it if you have not yet.
Out this week is a new album by Alicia Keys. I really do love this lady. It is just one of those things that happened and I can't really explain it. She just sort of makes me happy and I think she might be sort of magical. I really liked that "Songs In A Minor" way back in 2001. And she got me hooked. One of my old favorites, Duran Duran, also has a new album out. This one is produced by Justin Timberlake and Timbaland. Seriously, it really is. I have not had the chance to hear it yet. But I am very curious. My cousin is still the biggest Duran Duran fan. But it really makes me happy. I love when anyone is devoted to their favorites. I know a couple of those Duran Duran fans. You don't really want to mess with them. They are serious about their Duran Duran. Please do not joke about Duran Duran with them. You might get hurt. It does make me happy that Duran Duran is still putting out albums. I really did love those early albums. They still give me lots of good memories. You really should get that Duran Duran DVD that came out a couple of years ago. It is the greatest hits DVD and it is sort of amazing. Those videos were just fantastic. The design of the DVD and the features are really awesome as well. Lots of little secret things inside the DVD. The Hives also have a new album out today. I do also really love the Hives. I do fear that my love for them has been slowly dying since the last album. But I am willing to give this new one a big chance. I was really swept up in the Hives frenzy when I was last living in Hollywood. I love myself some swedish garage music. That Veni Vidi Vicious and Barely Legal album are still really great. I saw them live in Hollywood and it is still one of my favorite shows that I have ever been to.
The Killers also have a new album out this week. It is a sort of a compilation of unreleased stuff. The new Killers album is called "Sawdust." Sort of like all the left over stuff that didn't show up on an album yet. The album includes both their songs that were on soundtracks this year. "Shadowplay" from the Control soundtrack and "Move Away" from Spiderman 3. It also has the song "All the Pretty Faces." This song was the b-side for "When You Were Young" from the last album. The most exciting song is of course the Kenny Rogers cover. They do the song "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town." The rest of the album is made up of songs that did not make it on Hot Fuss or Sam's Town. The song "Tranquilize" also features that guy named Lou Reed. The Killers are really one of my guilty pleasures. They just make my happy when I listen to them. And there is really nothing wrong with that. It is really so funny how different everyones opinions can be. I just read some message board stuff about the band and it made my laugh. People really do take themselves so seriously. The Killers covering Joy Division really made a lot of people mad. But I actually like their cover. It doesn't sound anything like Joy Division and sort of makes the song a bit catchier and lighter. But I still like it. The Killers are one of those bands that you love or hate. I think they know exactly what kind of band they are and don't really pretend to be anything that they are not. They are a good fun band and that is what I like about them. Having a collection album after only 2 real albums is a bit ridiculous. But I don't really mind it. Nobody has to get it if they don't want it. But there are some good songs on here that you might miss out on. But only if you really like this band. If you don't care about this band you have probably already stopped reading this blog anyway.
It's Britney bitch! announces Britney Spears straight out the gate on her brand new album, Blackout, on Jive/Zomba (available at each Amoeba Music store) which was released early on October 30th due to fears of internet leaking. The big surprise is that the album is actually pretty darn good -- a tight dance-pop collection on which the heavily processed voice of Brit often lashes out at the mean media -- like in the vocoder-fed song "Piece of Me" -- as heard in the above "non-official" video version that displays the Tabloid Britney that we are all too familiar with -- like it or not. But putting aside all the tabloid self-references and all the other superficial stuff, what really strikes me most about this new Britney Spears album is its production, the music itself and just how expertly its producers (Danja and others such as Timbaland and Pharrell Williams) effortlessly channel pop's golden past. Take, for example, "Heaven on Earth" (scroll all the way down for the YouTube clip) is a straight homage (rip-off?) to Donna Summers' 1977 Giorgio Moroder-produced dance masterpiece "I Feel Love."
Meanwhile, the first 30 seconds of Blackout's track #10 "Ooh Ooh Baby" (streamed below on YouTube) borrows its drum rhythm from Gary Giltter & the Glitter Band's "Rock and Roll (Part II)," the 1972 hit and sports anthem, while Britney's lyrical delivery in the track echoes the melody straight from the Turtlles' 1967 classic "Happy Together." In fact, for a bit of fun I recommend that you play around with hitting the start buttons on the two videos below -- Britney's "Ooh Ooh Baby" with the Turtles (on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour) doing "Happy Together" and try and make your own impromptu video mash-up. I suggest starting the Britney song about five seconds before hitting "Play" on the Turtles. And if you go off beat or get bored with one of the two songs, hit the pause button on one video -- especially since you cannot control volumes on YouTube when they're embedded like they are here.
For myself, Nina Simone is the high priestess of kicking your ass, among many other talents. My day required this video, and I hope it touched your day as well.
I remember "borrowing" a copy of a great Marilyn Monroe coffee table book when I was about 12 years old. Of course it was for the great writings of Mr. Mailer, not the photos, ahem...
Here's a few shots of Norman Mailer's spoken word LP on the short lived Prestige records subsidiary "Lively Arts"
Below is a complete list of the Label output for the Lively Arts series...In the future I'll do a photo essay for the complete series...
Prestige Lively Arts 30000 series (12 inch LP)
- LA 30001 Billy Dee Williams - Let's Misbehave
- LA 30002 A Taste Of Hermione Baddeley
- LA 30003 Roddy McDowall Reads The Horror Stories Of H.P. Lovecraft
- LA 30004 Burgess Meredith Reads Ray Bradbury
- LA 30005 Larry Storch Reads Philip Roth's Epstein
- LA 30006 James Mason Reads The Imp Of The Perverse And Other Stories By Edgar Allen Poe
- LA 30007 James Mason Reads Herman Melville's Bartleby, The Scrivener
- LA 30008 Morris Carnovsky Reads Dostoevsky's Notes From Underground
- LA 30009 Norman Mailer Reads Norman Mailer
There have been many entire tribute albums over the years. Some have been great. Most have been pretty bad. The best covers tend to turn up as b-sides and bonus tracks on actual artists albums. Sometimes they work there ways into the live shows and then end up as extra tracks on reissues or singles. They tend to also turn up on soundtracks. The great Cat Power will release her second entire album of covers early next year. The first one was fantastic. There is a great website to search for all your favorite cover songs. You can look at it here. Some of my favorite covers over the years have been covers of new wave and 80's songs by artists in other genres. I absolutely love Johnny Cash's covers of "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode and "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails. I don't know why but I really love Rammstein's cover of "Stripped" by Depeche Mode. And even though this song was a bit overplayed, I still have a special place in my heart for Frente's cover of "Bizarre Love Triangle" by New Order. Placebo have a whole bonus disc of cover songs. They do great covers of "Running up that Hill" by Kate Bush and "Bigmouth Strikes Again" by The Smiths. Xiu Xiu does an amazing cover of "Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman. I also love Low's incredible version of "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me" by The Smiths. These are just some of my favorites. I could go on forever. The band Japancakes do an entire album cover of "Loveless" by My Bloody Valentine. The original is one of my favorite albums and they really do a great job covering the entire album. But I also love those cover versions that you really only need to hear once. Sometimes I just need to laugh and some covers often do the trick. William Shatner did a brilliant cover of "Common People" by Pulp. Me First & the Gimme Gimmes do a great cover of "Jolene" on the their last country album. There have been many brilliant covers of Jolene over the years. My favorite being Strawberry Switchblade. But it is really about the b-side of "I Will Always Love You" on the recently released single. Whitney Houston already ruined the song for the "Bodyguard" soundtrack. The song was originally by the great Dolly Parton for the movie "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas." That Whitney Houston song was so overplayed that she almost made me never want to listen to the Dolly version again. Me First sort of make up for it with their version. It is at least meant to be funny.
Almost four years in the making, "The Little Happy/Fool's Pool" double album (officially released November, 2007) contains some of the most slick production ever unleashed by 4AM aka Jason Chavez. That's a bold statement considering he's provided the beats and soul for projects such as OCTAVIUS, SOFAKING MASSIVE, his own successful series of mixtapes and recently in SF bands SEXX and Black Fiction (the latter of which he's a full-time member).
From the get-go, "The Little Happy" propels us on a positive journey through a hip hop-meets-shoegaze amusement park. Dopestyles' rhyming technique seems effortless, yet intricate-and fits perfectly over 4AMs' intricate and lush landscapes. "Wrap It Around Me" is like a Sunday morning: cuddly and chill, while "Dominator D" commands your soul ... "Patty Cake" punches us square in the jaw and "Stress Reducer" winds us down to the end of the first record. Nice and easy, right? Wrong.
"Fool's Pool" is the polar opposite from its' Brother disc. Yes, the dynamic duo is in full effect, but this story is much darker than its' predecessor. It's "good" Dopestyle versus "bad" Dopestyle. Genius. Power of the P, indeed...
A particularly rare and much sought after EP from Anne Briggs, “The Hazards of Love” from 1963 on Topic Records, draws a pretty penny these days on Ebay and other auction sites. Though she never sold a vast number of albums, Briggs was a leading figure on the English folk music revival of the mid 1960’s. First gaining prominence as a traditional a cappella singer, (“The Hazards of Love” has just one song complemented by any instrument, a bouzouki), by the late sixties Briggs would add a bit of instrumentation to her recordings but more significantly she would also include some of her own compositions. Her musical legacy is significant; it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say she was the defining voice of the era, influencing virtually every folk singer from June Tabor, to Sandy Denny, Jacqui Mcshee, Maddy Prior, to Eliza Carthy and Beth Orton. Many of her songs have been recorded by some of these artists plus others such as Pentangle, Bert Jansch, and Dorris Henderson.
Anne Briggs has always been something of an elusive and slightly mysterious figure on the British folk music scene. In the 2006 documentary, Folk Britannia, Richard Thompson recollects that he only ever stumbled upon Anne Briggs twice; and on both occasions she was drunk and unconscious. Her entire catalogue consists of only 3 full lengths albums and this EP, and half of those recordings are her singing completely unaccompanied. The common explanation for her limited output, Briggs retired from recording in 1973, has been her own anxiety and apprehension about the sound of her recorded voice. But whatever the reason, it’s been over 30 years since Anne Briggs has produced any new recordings, and it is unlikely anything new will come to light soon.
By now the face-off between Facebook and MySpace is old news, especailly with the entrance of a whole new social network onto the cyber landscape-- one that very well could signal a whole new wave of social networks. This probable new onslaught of social networks is being spearheaded by Kylie Minogue, who recently launched kyliekonnect -- an entire social network dedicated to the music artist and set up by her label Parlophone to help promote her new music. On the site visitors are coaxed to "Come, come into Kylie’s world as we bring you the chance to make friends, upload pictures, send messages and more..."
On kyliekonnect, in addition to getting all the latest dish on their hero, the pop star's fans can also create their own profiles, post their own photos, blog entries, and friend lists -- just like any other social network, except that on kyliekonnect everything directly links back to or is connected to and about Kylie Minogue. One of the features of this service is that lets users upload content directly from their mobile phones to offer her fans exclusive pictures taken on the road.
But what is most newsworthy about this new type of artist/celebrity based social network is that it could very well open the floodgates to a proliferation of new social networks set up and run by every damn band and artist out there. In short, it could get darn overwhelming in no time. Stay tuned. Meantime, scroll down to check out a live performance of Kylie doing new song "2 Hearts" on Star Academy.
MOST POPULAR GOOGLE SEARCHES BY CITY
In a recent report issued by Google that tallied words searched under topic and by city/country of search, the following results came up:
This weekend marks the anniversary of the death of a personal hero of mine, poet Guillaume Apollinaris de Kostrowitzky, better known as Apollinaire, who died during the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918. His greatest contribution to the 20th century, other than coining the term ‘surrealism’ and helping to publicize and define the cubist movement, was probably his poetry, influencing many of the avant-garde, dada and surrealist writers in post-Great War France, such as André Breton and Tristan Tzara.
Some of the best anecdotes about Apollinaire concern his occasionally dubious character. He was known for reviewing non-existent books and writing erotic / pornographic fantasies under pseudonyms. Re-inventing facts was a penchant of his, often ending in uncomfortable predicaments. In 1911, for example, he was detained for six days on suspicion of stealing the Mona Lisa. When things looked a bit bleak, he pointed the finger at his trusted friend Pablo Picasso, implicating him in one of the biggest crimes of the era. Both were eventually exonerated, but the Mona Lisa wasn’t recovered until 1913, and after some eight forgeries had been sold! Nevertheless, the more adventurous Parisians were counted in Apollinaire’s circle of friends and colleagues. They were the who’s who of Paris, artists like Picasso, Henri Rousseau, Marie Laurencin (his long time lover), Marc Chagall and Marcel Duchamp, writers Gertrude Stein, Alfred Jarry, Max Jacob, and composer Erik Satie.
After the start of the First World War, Apollinaire joined the French military, requesting front-line infantry duty. On March 17, 1916, while entrenched on the front near Champagne close to the Belgian frontier, he suffered a shell wound to the temple. The neurological consequences of such an injury are uncertain. But what is certain, according to people who knew him before and after, his personality and behavior altered dramatically. He became irritable, anxious and depressed, ending significant relationships, including breaking the engagement to his fiancé. Perhaps in part because of his war wounds, exposure to mustard gas, or any of the multiple surgeries he underwent, Apollinaire would become one of an estimated 100 million people worldwide who died from the great influenza pandemic, passing on November 9th in his apartment in Paris at 202 Boulevard Saint-Germain. Every couple of years or so I travel to Paris and I always make a point to stop by his gravesite in Père Lachaise, open a bottle of wine, snack on some bread and cheese, relax and give people directions to Chopin’s and Jim Morrison’s graves.
Norman Mailer, the famed American writer, died earlier today (Saturday Nov 10th) of acute renal failure following lung surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, according to his biographer Michael Lennon. He was 84. For the full news report courtesy of the Associated Press, click here. Along with such writers as Tom Wolfe and Truman Capote, the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner was considered an innovator of creative nonfiction or "New Journalism."
He leaves behind a very rich literary legacy that includes The Naked and The Dead, The Executioner's Song, The Armies of the Night, and too many more to mention --click on the link for a list of many of Norman Mailer's books. Even up to close to his death, Mailer was still active and always focused, articulate and ready to share his opinion on important issues. Check out the interview clip below he did about five months ago on the topic of Iraq and the American Right. Then, the clip below that is another recent interview with Mailer-- an excerpt of an interview with Charlie Rose talking about his novel The Castle In The Forest, published this year by Random House.
Saturday Nov. 10
Kurt Russel in
Big Trouble In Little China
New Beverly Cinema
7165 W Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Recently in New York City a 21 year old "subway surfer" was killed after getting bounced off a moving C line train. Subway surfing is the dare-devil stunt that involves riding either atop or clinging to the side of a moving train. While popular in certain South American and European cities (including in Denmark, where the documentary excerpt below is from), it has only been sporadically popular in New York City's MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) subway system over recent years, and for good reason. The stunt has a very high probability of ending in fatal disaster due to the tight space between the train and the MTA tunnels. Unlike in other foreign cities, where the trains are mostly outdoors, the MTA run mainly through underground tunnels. Four years ago there were several subway-surfing fatalities on New York's subway system within a short time span -- apparently inspired by some publicity about the practice at that time. Since then, the MTA has initiated a campaign educating those foolish enough to try surfing a New York subway car.
In comparison, the relatively tame, although still illegal and dangerous, annual Broadway Bomb -- a race in which about a hundred daredevil skateboarders roll from uptown to downtown Manhattan along Broadway from 116th Street all the way down to Bowling Green, which is eight and half miles, dodging cars, buses, and taxis and ignoring traffic lights along the way -- went without incident two Sundays ago in New York City. And even though the motto for the event is "You could die," no one has so far. But then, the event is held on a Sunday when there is very little traffic in NYC compared to weekdays. There is also talk that the event, which already has sponsors, may soon become legit.
I was 15 years old when My So-Called Life was on TV, exactly the same age as its main character, Angela. I remember watching it as it originally aired on ABC and becoming more and more obsessed with the show. I really felt like it was like watching my own life in so many ways... except I don't have an annoying little sister, just an aggravating older brother.
The parents are truly exactly like my parents, the friends really are like my friends from high school, especially Sharon, Ricky and Brian-- I didn't have my own Rayanne until college. Everyone has had a Jordan Catalano in their life to some degree, let's face it.
Anyway, so the show has just been reissued on DVD and I am having the best time watching and reliving it all. I guess it's been about 2 years since I watched any of the 19 episodes, and this DVD set has all kinds of extras the other one didn't. The day I got the new box set I eagerly watched every extra (minus the commentaries as of yet).
There's a recent interview with Claire Danes (Angela) and she has this weird air about her. She seems unnaturally poised or something, and her perfectly coiffed layered blond hair stands in stark contrast to her fire engine red stick straight hair back when she played Angela. She seems miles away from Angela, and I guess she should since that was 13 or so years ago. In a way though, I still feel often like that kid I was in high school, and Claire, despite admitting to sharing many characteristics with the fictional Angela, seems not only to have moved waaaaay beyond her 15 year old self, but also seems determined in her speaking on the DVDs to prove it to be so. Maybe a lot of people come up to her in the street and still expect her to BE Angela. That really would get old. I'm glad she's agreed to be on the new DVDs at all. It was an interesting experience to see her now, speaking about what transpired so long ago.
Imagine for a moment if Tony Soprano lived not in NJ but in da Bay. This is exactly what Bay Area resident, YouTube member, and local hip-hop artist EmceeT visualized before he went out and shot and edited (directed by ZTY Media) the inspired above video clip, spoofing the intro to the popular, and sadly defunct, HBO series The Sopranos. In the "Yay" version Emcee T (aka The Chinese King of the Bay) winds his way through various parts of the Bay Area in his whip with cigar (or blunt?) in mouth, and capturing along the way shots of such familar sights as the Bay Bridge and its toll-booth, the Caldecott tunnel, that big ole bow-and-arrow sculpture & the palm trees along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, the Martinez Oil refineries, the Showgirls Strip Club, Casino San Pablo, Oakland Port, the infamous Mac Dre mural (off Harrison Street in SF), SFPD patrol cars, Lake Merritt mural, and at the end (in true Tony Soprano style), Emcee T's own house. Click here for more of Emcee T's videos, here for his MySpace, and for general info on "the real emcee" Emcee T, visit his website.
And in case you want to compare it with the original shot in New Jersey, it's below for your viewing pleasure. By the way, the song used in the Sopranos intro is by the group A3 and is titled (not too surprisingly) "Woke Up This Morning." The full version, which is available on the Sopranos soundtrack (look for it at Amoeba Music) is a really great song with a nice slow build-up and then towards the end it goes into a rap, clocking in at about five plus minutes compared to the television show intro version which is a bit under two minutes.
Damn! It's already November 8th! Where did the time go? It seems like only yesterday when this AMOEBLOG corner of the Amoeba Music website started up. But actually it has been jumping off since March of this year -- not that long ago, true, but long enough for the accumulation of a bounty of engaging AMOEBLOGS covering oodles of different topics (music and otherwise) from a stable of gifted and insightful AMOEBLOGGERs including (but not limited to) Mike Battaglia, Job O Brother, Brad Schelden, phil blankenship, Miss Ess, Gomez Comes Alive, Whitmore, and the Bay Area Crew. In all, there are hundreds and hundreds (well in excess of a thousand) of AMOEBLOGS posted and available to read in the Archives right here. Just for me alone there are 170 AMOEBLOGS archived and I am only one of a dozen active AMOEBLOGGERs.
Glancing back at some of these AMOEBLOGS I have posted since May, I think it is time that I should follow up on a few of them. First up was the post (one of several) about the historic Paul McCartney instore at Amoeba Music Hollywood store on June 27th that generated a ton of COMMENTS from Amoeba shoppers who were lucky enough to make it inside to witness the former Beatle's memorable performance. Anyways, the follow up, good news, is that next week (November 13th) one of the songs from Paul's performance that day ("I Saw Her Standing There") will be released on an extremely limited edition 12" vinyl-only release titled Amoeba's Secret. This Paul McCartney maxi-single will feature four songs from the exclusive instore: “Only Mama Knows” & "That Was Me" (both originally on his latest release) plus ”C Moon” (the classic Paul McCartney & Wings song), and of course, the aforementioned "I Saw Her Standing There." The sure to be highly collectable, vinyl-only Amoeba's Secret will be available in all three Amoeba Music stores next Tuesday (11/13) and also here at amoeba.com -- priced at $5.98. (Note that this rare release will not be released digitally or as a CD and since it is limited, is bound to sell out fast.)
"You have got to hear this," he said as he reached for the office boom-box. Maybe he would've said that to anyone who was standing there, I have to grant his excitement that much. Cause the dude was on Cloud 9 and the fact that he even saw me standing there is a miracle, but I'll take it as he knew what all this would mean to me.
"This is it, this is the goods," he said as he prepped the CD player, and I knew exactly what he was talking about: the Gram, the live Gram Parsons that no one had ever heard before. He'd finally gotten it on the CDs to bring in and show us all that he wasn't nuts: this was GOLD. Hell, this is platinum. (industry joke, sorry.)
Man, that day was a long time ago. It was a damn long time ago, what with everything that happens in everyone's lives? You know how long a year or two feels. But there I was, last night, finally: I had my copy, I was reading the liner notes, and at first I was laughing, thinking "Dave! You left out the part where you talked about this record every day since then!! Every day!"
But that's the beautiful thing: when anyone is that much of a fan ... and we all knew how much of a fan Dave is before he ever got to go over to that magical place: Bear's Vault. (Forgive me, at 39, I am practically an old fogey to most of you and a lifelong Deadhead.) That much of a fan you can forgive almost anything. (Almost = Hinckley, Jr.)
"Music kind of sucks. Nobody's into being a musician. Everybody's getting their mogul on. You've been so infiltrated by this corporate mentality that all the time you'd spend getting great songs together, you're busy doing nine other things that have nothing to do with art. You know how shitty Stevie Wonder's songs would have been if he had to run a fuckin' clothing company and a cologne line?" says Chris Rock In a wonderful new interview in Rolling Stone (Nov 15, 2007 issue 1039) in which the magazine accurately notes that in this age of hip-hop it is more than common for most rappers to utter those words that we have heard a zillion times already: "I'm not a rapper, I'm a businessman." And Chris Rock responds, "That's why rap sucks, for the most part. Not all rap, but as an art form it's just not at its best moment."
The always articulate, observant and funny comedian/social satirist Rock has built a career on consistently poking fun at rap music in particular, from his SNL impersonations (including one of MC Hammer) to his hilarious lead role in the excellent 1993 obviously NWA inspired, faux-gangsta rap group comedy CB4 as the fictional emcee Gusto, to such things as the cover art of his 1999 comedy album Bigger and Blacker which mocked the (at the time) predominant No Limit/Cash Money record labels' styled rap album cover art. Rock never misses a beat in taking shots at rap music and at the music scene, um business, in general.
As you likely already know, today (November 6th) was the release date of the anticipated Gram Parsons with the Flying Burrito Brothers' Live at the Avalon Ballroom 1969 2CD set -- the first volume in the long lost sessions from the late great artist who created "Cosmic American Music," and the second release from the recently launched Amoeba Records. (The premiere release a couple of months back was Brandi Shearer's Close To Dark.) Coincidentally, there is also a new biography just out on the artist titled Twenty Thousand Roads: The Ballad of Gram Parsons and His Cosmic American Music written by David N. Meyer and published in hard copy by Villard Books.
Gram Parsons, who died of a drug overdose at the young age of 26 and who would have celebrated his 61st birthday yesterday, November 5th, is one of those great artists whose contributions to American music are realized increasingly more and more in every year since his 1973 tragic death. And as each year progresses the legions of fans and artists directly touched by this long deceased singer/songwriter/guitarist/pianist just seem to continue to grow.
"Parsons was born in 1946 into a rich but dysfunctional Southern family; his father committed suicide when Gram was 12, and his mother died of alcoholism the day Gram graduated from high school. Although he grew up in Georgia and Florida, Parsons wasn't turned on to country until he went north to Harvard (where, obsessed with music, he flunked out freshman year), but once he discovered Buck and Merle, he was smitten," wrote the New York Times in its lukewarm review of the new 559-page biography on Parsons. The book, and other reviewers agree, is by no means a perfect biography -- skipping some important details and over-emphasizing others -- but it is a good book to have, especially for diehard fans and Parsons completists. It is also by no means the the only book out there on the fascinating character that was Gram Parsons. Others include Grievous Angel: An Intimate Biography of Gram Parsons by Jessica Hundley with Polly Parsons (Gram's daughter) that was published by Thunder's Mouth Press a couple of years ago and is available in both hard-cover and on paperback. There is also the recommended Hickory Wind: The Life and Times of Gram Parsons by Ben Fong Torres that is well worth reading to further understand the artist. Other books in the long list under Gram Parsons' bibliography include Pamela Des Barres' I'm With the Band: Confessions of A Groupie which was published by Jove Books in 1988. DeBarres, who counts Gram Parsons among her closest past friends, also wrote the liner notes for the new Amoeba Records release.
about how they deal with relentless negative criticism and live with the pain caused by disruptive heckles. That may sound awful but it's actually quite enjoyable.
Jamie Kennedy in the ten-years-too-late Kickin' It Old School, which Richard Roeper courageously gave a "thumbs down," which is good, because I thought it was going to be a masterpiece along the lines of Seabiscuit.
The first part of the film focuses on the hecklers. Comedians that I don't even usually find terribly funny are, for the most part, pretty successful at making the viewers feel sorry for them and a lot of the filmed scenes of comedians being heckled are extremely tense (and in some cases, familiar from YouTube). If you have any sort of recognizable emotions you'll feel sorry for these easy targets of doltish goons trying to learn us something.
The second part of the film attempts to portray online film critics as no more than hecklers operating behind the safety of anonymity and protected from recourse from the heckled comedians. In this portion of the film, Jamie Kennedy is filmed confronting some of the writers of the most mean-spirited criticism and personal attacks which also ends up creating an alternately funny, sad and tense air. But I even felt sorry for the critics, who seem like harmless, socially-retarded dorks across the board (and I don't mean that in a mean way).
I still remember the first time that I heard about Sigur Ros. I had read an article about them in NME and was immediately intrigued by this new Icelandic band that looked sort of like Radiohead. I decided then that they would be one of my new favorite bands. I put a picture of them on my wall at work before I had even ever heard them. I had no idea what an affect they would actually end up having on my life. They were described as a little bit experimental and a little bit classical. They were maybe a mix of a band like Radiohead and a band like Slowdive. Ethereal and dreamy and shoegazey. Exactly the kind of band that I could easily fall in love with. The first thing I picked up from them was the single for Svefn-g-englar in 1999. I couldn't really pronounce the name of the band or the single. But Sigur Ros easily and quickly became my new favorite band. They are even to this day sort of hard to explain. I often try and explain them to people and find it easier to just make them listen to it. Much like an artist like Bjork, you quickly will discover if you hate them or love them. There is really no in between. Jonsi Birgisson really has a magical voice. There is really nothing that I have ever heard before that sounds anything like it. Sort of like Elizabeth Frasier from the Cocteau Twins. You just hear it and can't help but be impacted by the power of the voice. The music of Sigur Ros is also really fantastic. With the combination of the music and that magical voice, these Sigur Ros albums are easily some of my favorites.
I had to go to Alhambra to see a man about a horse at the bidding of the original San Gabriel Valley Girl™, the always radiant Ngoc Nguyen. To vote for another Los Angeles neighborhood, vote here. To vote for a Los Angeles County Community, vote here. To vote for more Orange County communites, click here.
Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of the San Gabriel Valley
Alhambra is on the western edge of the San Gabriel Valley between posh San Marino, trendy South Pasadena, old San Gabriel, blue collar Rosemead, and the most Chinese city in the US, Monterey Park.
Former music star and God-fearing Republican, Kentucky resident Pat Boone recently made a plea to voters in his state (with the voting day quickly approaching) to steer clear of queer friendly Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Beshear and his running mate Daniel Mongiardo in a thinly veiled anti-gay speech (hear audio of speech by clicking here). (NOTE: click twice if it doesn't link first time.) The speech sternly warned voters in the state: "Do you want a governor who'd like Kentucky to be another San Francisco?" When asked by the Washington Post what he thought of this statement by Boone, Beshear diplomatically replied: “Pat Boone was a great singer. And I still enjoy listening to his music. I would think he ought to stick with singing.”
In vocal support of the Kentucky Governor, Republican Ernie Fletcher, who is up for re-election and is looking behind in the polls, Pat Boone, the grandson of Daniel Boone, made the speech via phone message over the weekend stressing that, "As an American and a Christian I am very concerned about the upcoming Governor's election" -- going on to say of Fletcher's pro-civil rights opponent Beshear that he is an individual "who has consistently supported every homosexual cause," including such things as "same-sex marriage; gay adoption; special rights to gay, lesbian, bisexual, even transgender individuals!"
And if you think that thinly veiled anti-gay rhetoric by Boone is bad, check out what Fletcher’s lieutenant governor candidate Robbie Rudolph had to say in a speech delivered on Saturday night to a crowd of over two hundred GOP supporters in Lexington, KY: “Do you want a couple of San Francisco treats or do you want a governor?” Yikes!!! Now, I don't know about you, but to me in this seemingly politically correct and ultra sensitive age -- where, for example, the recently disgraced A&E TV star Dog the Bounty Hunter saw his career go down the toilet for uttering the "N" word in a private phone conversation -- shouldn't Rudolph be held somehow responsible for what appears to me as pure hate speech?
Please add your thoughts/opinions in the COMMENTS box below. Thanks!
Wong Kar-Wai John Woo
Amoeba's Chinese Top 10:
Raise the Red Lantern
In the Mood For Love
Wong Kar-Wai Collection
Days Of Being Wild
With a last name like "Prophet," you have but a few paths in life you could take. First there's the obvious, the path of the evangelist. Then there's the option of being a medium, or mind-reader, or soothsayer. Or, as in the case of Chuck Prophet, you could combine both trajectories, and become a musician.
Local hero Chuck Prophet chose the latter, and he just released his eighth solo work, Soap And Water. He played six songs from the record for an amalgamation of friends, family, and fans on a balmy Saturday afternoon in our San Francisco store.
If "American Music" can be defined as having its roots in jazz, blues and the Old West, then Chuck Prophet is definitely a uniquely "American" artist. He could easily be a staple in any House of Blues signature band, or back his van into any roadhouse in the country and put on a jumpin' show.
Amoeba has a certain road-house quality, let's face it, and we were more than glad to let him back his van up to our doors. Prophet plays with great intensity, holding his guitar like it's a limbo stick that
he is going to duck under, or a wily snake that he is trying to straighten out. "A woman's voice'll drug you," he drones in his Lou Reed-like tone, the swampy guitar backing him up with its own plodding, trance-like quality. "You'll get lucky for the chance."
Prophet's music engenders a certain intimacy; it's the perfect kind of relationship between the artist and his audience, all of which is just the sort of show for a setting like an in-store. To wit: during his between-song banter, Prophet looked out over the whole shop and quipped about all the "competition" that was out there staring back at him in the form of other CDs for sale. Immediately a rather strange
guy in a Sublime hoodie, a black fedora, and a Soul Asylum T-shirt ran up to the front of the stage waving a record. "Hm," said Prophet, holding it up to read 'the competition.' "The Sidekicks, Butt Candy,"
he read, deadpan. Everyone erupted in laughter.
gunpowder, treason and plot,
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes,
'twas his intent
to blow up the King and the Parliament.
Three score barrels of powder below,
Poor old England to overthrow:
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, make the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
Hip hip hoorah!
Zhemeney performing "Kara Bura"
"Akjaik" performed by the Kazakh Wilson Phillips
Nomad, the 18th century tale of an Asian boy who grew up to be Mexican (Kuno Becker)
The trailer for Schizo which will appeal to fans of Ken Loach and/or track suits.
After recently stumbling across the Craigs List New York City area posting (reprinted below - scroll down) directly addressing the ridiculous current state of the high cost of housing in New York City (and it is so bad that people who go out of town for a week sublet their place -- damn!), it got me thinking about the whole issue of the high cost of housing for all of us, in particular in certain desired American cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and of course New York City.
As eloquently and emotionally expressed in the recent CL posting, which appeared under the heading "Perpetual Childhood" and was written by a Brooklyn resident, NYC seems to be the very worst when it comes to the high cost of urban housing in the States these days. Please take a moment to read it and after you have, please add to the COMMENTS box below your thoughts on housing in the area where you dwell or have previously lived (rented). Is it as bad where you are? Are there any solutions to the ridiculous cost of housing that most of us are subjected to? What percentage of one's income do you think the average person should pay in rent? Personally, I think it should only be 15% or 20%. I also strongly believe that the government, local and federal, should heavily subsidize housing for artists. But when I say this to most people, they tell me I am crazy to hold such foolish beliefs. But what do you think of the state of housing in the USA today -- especially in cities such as SF, LA, or NY? Thanks for reading and for sharing your COMMENTS! Here is the posting:
THE HIGH COST OF HOUSING IN NYC FORCES DWELLER INTO PERPETUAL CHILDHOOD:
This City is keepin us in F***ing perpetual childhood! Six figures and cannot find an apartment unless I'm willing to swallow pride and sanity and kiss the ass of some F***ing nickel and diming greedy scumbag feudal lndlord. They want you to make 20x the rent and they're looking at you with a straight face as they offer some f***ing shoe box with NO GARBAGE DISPOSAL, NO W/D, NO F***NG SCREENS ON THE WINDOW, MOLD, no closet space. Don't even blink in shame. What exactly am I getting for my f-ng money????! Tell me THAT you d***ass.
9 years employment
ME: I love learning about what has formed people's musical taste. What kind of music were your parents listening to when you were growing up?
NS: I can't tell you how many Santana concerts I've been to. During my toddler years we listened to the good stuff. My mom was all about salsa, Banda and . My pops fancied himself to be somewhat of a Pachuco, so it was all about the oldies! Later, in their quest to become more Americanized, we were subjected to the likes of and . Then my parents got divorced and my dad thought he was the , so it became all country all the time during our visits, which wasn't so bad. But can be a bit depressing when you're a kid.
I know you have 2 older sisters. What were they into listening to? Did they have any influence on your listening tastes?
Hmmm, good question. They're 9 & 10 years older than me, so we had very different taste. They mostly listened to rock and metal, but the oldest used to get down back in the day to some disco and soul (let's just say that we spent a few nights working out routines to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack). The other one was more into the punk classics. I remember when I was 6 my sisters battled out the stereo time between Journey's Escape and the Adolescents. There was no space for me, until I discovered the misunderstood world of teenage angst music. I was sure that The Smiths and The Three O-Clock were writing songs for me. I dyed my hair and shaved my head, only to become the butt of all jokes at the dinner table.
Who was the first artist you became obsessed with, that really got you into music?
Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of Montebello
I went to a baptism the other day for one Mateo Gareza in the city of Montebello, the subject of this neighborhood blog. To vote for another Los Angeles neighborhood, vote here. To vote for aLos Angeles County Community, vote here. To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.
Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Maps of Southeast Los Angeles County
For the occasion I was oaccompanied by none other than Miss San Gabriel Valley 05, 06 and '07, Ngoc Nguyen. Montebello, for those not in the know, is situated between the more interesting East Los Angeles, Monterey Park and Rosemead. It straddles the San Gabriel Valley and SELACO. They used to have a Puerto Rican parade, the only one west of Chicago, but it was deemed too much fun and moved to the Pomona Fairgrounds. It still has a lot of Mexican restaurants, chain stores and bakeries.
Mister Sexx himself/herself, oh, who cares!?!? That is a costume without a safe word, honey.
Um, Jimmy baby, that aint no costume: you just been working that info booth too much, right next to the reggae section:
Just shows ya, Concord got nothing on ya, SF! Or wait, is it the other way around? I'm confused!
Okay, that explains why all the white men ran screaming out the side door. Ain't no play in that costume!
Trick or treat? SCALP!
Corr-Courtney, baby, I just LOVE your .... well, everything! Except, well ... if I have 4 drinks in me, and mind you, I DO, you kinda look like my mom here. *faint
The Invisible Lance!!
Fifty years ago tonight on November 2, 1957 - and coincidentally about an hour after the Russians launched Sputnik 2 carrying the first passenger ever lifted into orbit, Laika the dog - one of the best known and well documented cases of UFO close encounters took place on the outskirts of Levelland, Texas, population 10,000.
Patrolman A. J. Fowler, on duty that night, received the first call at about 11pm and would receive another 14 different calls over the next two and a half hours. Among the witnesses were Levelland's sheriff and the town's fire chief who confirmed they too observed something pass across the highway in front of them. Most of the reports depicted the object as a brightly lit torpedo or cigar-shaped flat-bottomed object, eyewitnesses pretty consistently described the UFO as a glowing, pulsating bluish-green. The first call came from Pedro Saucedo, traveling with a co-worker named Joe Salaz. While driving down Route 116, about 4 miles west of Levelland, an object suddenly rose into the air from a nearby field. Saucedo estimated that it was 200 feet in length, and soon was flying at speeds around 800 miles per hour. While passing over their truck there was a sound of “thunder” and a “rush of wind.” The truck rocked from the blast, and both passengers felt “a lot of heat." As the object flew over the truck, the headlights went out and the engine stalled, but as the UFO vanished into the distance the engine restarted easily and the lights worked normally. In total, there were at least seven separate UFO incidents that night reporting either a car or a truck becoming disabled, but recovering each time the UFO departed.
I stumbled upon these two LPs a few years ago, upon dropping the needle I was instantly taken by the period piece quality to the service on the 1st. Transistor organ, call and response hymnals, talk of vibrations and colors...Who were these people?? Ann Davies cuts an interesting figure on the 1st LP- a somewhat androgynous and harsh looking leader of an esoteric group that was at one time based in my then neighborhood of Highland Park...I'd have to look into it...
AMOEBITE PROFILE: HEIDI
AMOEBLOG: What exactly is your job at the Amoeba Music Hollywood store? How long have you worked there and how did you end up working at Amoeba?
HEIDI: I've had a lot of different jobs at Amoeba but these days I'm mostly in rock vinyl and black metal. I was hired at Amoeba three years ago through my friend Inez.
AMOEBLOG: What makes working at Amoeba unique compared to other jobs you've had?
HEIDI: Working at Amoeba is a truly unique environment. It is refreshing to work with so many people who are as nerdy as I am about music. It's also satisfying to work for Amoeba Music as a company because they truly take care of their employees. It feels very much like a family.
AMOEBLOG: What are the Top 3 Items in the past week or so that you've noticed people are seeking out at the Hollywood Amoeba Music?
HEIDI: Dethklok The Dethalbum, Ulver Shadows of the Sun, Bruce Springsteen Magic on vinyl (new studio recording from the Boss with the E Street Band and featuring 11 new Springsteen songs -- all produced by Brendan O'Brien).
AMOEBLOG: I know you that you are a real fan of good metal music. In terms of that genre, how, in your opinion, is the scene in LA these days for bands and for clubs?
HEIDI: To be honest, I don't go out much, but I love to see that there's a rise in the number of youngsters reviving the thrash scene here in Los Angeles. I need to make more of an effort to check it out. If you want to see a good heavy show, go see High On Fire. They aren't LA natives but they play here quite a bit. But a couple of local bands well worth mentioning are Strong Arm Down, who are a great heavy live band... check em' out!! And then there is another LA band I recommend called An Endless Contortionist, who are super noisy fun!!
When the giant inflatable green-and-purple Frankenstein arises from the center of the store to welcome all visitors, you know it's... Halloween at Amoeba L.A.!!!
The store looked spooky for weeks... cobwebs, bats and pumpkins everywhere, skeletons dancing... even a skeleton with a handlebar moustache over the info counter! Hmmm... also an old-timey gentleman skeleton in a top hat lounging above the opera CDs in the Jazz Room. A spectre from beyond the tomb hung over our eerie Halloween section, filled with spooky sound effects, every compilation ever made with "Dead Man's Party" by Oingo Boingo on it, and some Jennifer Lopez movies. Creepy!
Halloween dawned bright and sunny (as it sometimes does in L.A.) but we kept it appropriate in the store with some Cramps blasting on the stereo and candy bowls everywhere for trick-or-treaters. Many folks arrived in costume... I was particularly startled by a co-worker dressed as Richard D. James a.k.a the Aphex Twin! Pretty scary... and a really good cardboard robot (the Bot-O-Tron) and a girl with her head in a milk carton that said "Missing", and many more... Minnie Mouse, a mime, an evil clown, a melancholy bumblebee even!
At 3 we kicked the party off with our Halloween DJ, DJ Heebie Jeebies (real name Mike Dehlin, frontman for local psychobilly outfit The Goddamn Gallows). He kept it real (scary) with lots of good old evil tunes from "She's My Witch" by the Sonics to "Run To the Hills" by Iron Maiden, interspersed with amazing horror movie trailers (the one for the transgender "Dr. Jeckyll and Sister Hyde" was my favorite!). Around 5 the excitement was building... it was almost time for our annual Halloween costume contest!
As the many spooky contestants gathered round the stage, I donned my giant silver head with the monocle and purple moustache (no catchy name for this costume... I called it the Old Time Space Gentleman, others thought it looked like Mr. Peanut or the Monopoly Man, but all in aluminum foil). Like Ed McMahon to Johnny Carson, I introduced our host and handed off the mike -- it was our old friend Lance Rock!
Alfred Jarry had a profound, incalculable effect on most every art and literary movement of the 20th century movements influencing Dadaism, Surrealism, Futurism, Expressionism, Cubism, and especially the Theatre of the Absurd. You can start with Marcel Duchamp and Andre Breton and keep right on swerving through the better names of the century; poets Guillaume Apollinaire, Max Jacob, Tristan Tzara, artists like Picasso, entertainers such as The Marx Brothers, the Goons, Spike Jones, the Bonzo Dog Band, Monty Python, even Mad magazine.
Playwrights Eugene Ionesco, Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Edward Albee all owe much to Jarry, as do other literary greats like Jean Genet, Antonin Artaud, Douglas Adams, Robert Anton Wilson, Boris Vian, George Perec, and J.G. Ballard. In fact, I swear even George Bush and his entire administration have been heavily influenced by the absurdities of Alfred Jarry and his masterpiece, Ubu Roi featuring the bloated, thick and stupid future king, Pere Ubu.
Well, One hundred years ago today Alfred Jarry died of alcoholism and tuberculosis in Paris at the age of thirty-four. Every aspect of his life was a performance of self. More than just writing about Ubu, he lived as Ubu. He blew through a small fortune he inherited from his parents, served in the military, developed a taste for absinthe, and took to wandering around Paris inebriated; alcohol, he said, was his “holy water.” He costumed himself in black biking gear, often in a long hooded cape carrying a green umbrella and two pistols. He also assumed many of the characteristics he wrote for his fictional Pere Ubu: talking in a high falsetto, adopting a mechanical / monotone speaking style, enunciating every single syllable with no inflection or nuance, and Jarry always spoke of himself in the royal "we.”
Linda S. Stein, ex wife of Seymour Stein, the head of Sire Records (Morrissey, Madonna, Talking Heads, etc), was found dead in her ultra ritzy NYC apartment on Tuesday. She was bludgeoned to death. No one knows why she was killed or who killed her.
Linda (on the left) was a manager of the Ramones and a major player in the 70s NYC rock scene. Just a few weeks ago I randomly saw her profiled on some cable show about high end real estate, as she had become a high rollin' "real estate agent to the stars" (like Billy Joel and Sting) -- it seems really strange that someone would kill her. I mean, they must have somehow gotten past all the security in her high class building and waited for her in her own apartment. Freaky. If the mystery ever gets solved, I will post what happened here. But something weird is afoot.
“You have Ulerythema Ophryogenes and you’ll be dead by the time your insurance bill comes.”
And so it goes.
Anyway, one thing that’s managed to make me feel better (besides my very, very patient boyfriend*) is the unforgivably short-lived TV show “Wonderfalls”.
It was co-created and written by the whimsically pithy Bryan Fuller, who’s new show “Pushing Daises” promises to be equally as unpredictable.
Only fourteen episodes of “Wonderfalls” were made, and only three played on the air. A classic situation of “too good for TV” (see also: “Arrested Development”).
As my last wish before I die, I ask you to procure a copy (might I suggest at Amoeba Music?) and give it a gander.
I realize this entry is a little bare bones, so I give you this as an unrelated bonus gem:
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with a pint of Nyquil.
*Corey, my guy, has seen me through my current state of disrepair with humor and grace. It’s been like this:
COREY: How you feeling, honey? Can I get you anything?
JOB: What do you mean? You mean I’m incomplete as I am? YOU DON’T LOVE ME! (sobbing)
Kino International is proud to release a program of five rarely-seen films by America's greatest living director, Martin Scorcese. In ITALIANAMERICAN (1974, 48 minutes, color) Scorcese invites the viewer into the home of his late parents, Catherin and Charles (who have appeared in Goodfellas, Mean Streets and Raging Bull). There they discuss everything from their immigrant heritage, on-camera behavior and the family's secret spaghetti sauce recipe. To the tune of Bunny Berigan's "I Can't Get Started," a morning shave turns into a musical bloodletting in THE BIG SHAVE (1968, 6 muntes, color), an early black comedy gem unavailable for years. In AMERICAN BOY (1978, 55 minutes, Color), Scorsese "interviews" Steven Prince, best remembered as the peripatetic gun salesman Easy Andy in Taxi Driver Prince's accounts of his tragicomic upbringing as an army brat, his travels as a rock band's road manager and subsequent heroin addiction are punctuated by Neil Young's "Time Fades Away"
WHAT'S A NICE GIRL LIKE YOU DOING IN A PLACE LIKE THIS? (1963, 9 minutes B/W) A young writer grows increasingly obsessed with a framed photograph hanging on his wall. IT'S NOT JUST YOU, MURRAY! (1964, 15 minutes, B/W) A small-time hoodlum named Murray thrives on his friendship with Joe, oblivious to the fact that he is being exploited by his longtime pal.
Please note: all 5 films will be screened in 16mm.
7165 West Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
7:30 start time
$7 general admission
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