Amoeblog

Disney Fluffs Their Ghibli Cushion: Tales from Earthsea DVD Released Today

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, March 8, 2011 12:45pm | Post a Comment
studio ghibli tales from earthsea dvd cover dragon anime japanese goro miyazaki
I love me some Disney but, please, if you're going to hoist their banner alongside yours, give Studio Ghibli the treatment their works deserve! While I'm ecstatic that visually gorgeous though plot-muddled Tales from Earthsea gets a slick, English-dubbed (featuring Willem Dafoe, no less) U.S. release today (on DVD/Blu-ray), it comes with the sinking feeling that some of the works included in the famed Disney-Tokuma (Ghibli's parent company Tokuma Shoten Publications) deal struck in the mid-80's will never see the light of the silver screen stateside. [*sigh*]

However, Tales from Earthsea, originally released in Japan in 2007 and the directorial debut of Goro Miyazaki --- son of acclaimed Ghibli auteur Hayao Miyazaki, is a tepid mess of thrilling animation that could take the edge off the recent disappointing news that Disney will be delaying the U.S. theatrical release of Arrietty the Borrower (Studio Ghibli's most recent work, currently enjoying top billing in France with DVD release expected soon in Japan, Europe and elsewhere) until February 2012 --- that is, if Disney decides to release it here at all. What an incredible understanding these two studios have! 

Still this magical fantasy about the once-embattled relationship between humans and dragons and wizardfolk, whether clad in humble Gandalf garb (the good) or androgynous drag (the bad and the ugly), should leave fans of DreamWorks' How To Train Your Dragon feeling pants'd, in a good way. I've always felt that when comparing Disney and Studio Ghibli the difference is as much in the impression as it is in the message received; watching Disney reminds me of how rotten it used to feel when grown-ups talked down to me as a child, whereas watching Ghibli makes me recall those childhood instances when I was as excited as I was afraid of "growing up." Disney makes me want to stay in, but watching a great Ghibli film, and Tales from Earthsea is nowhere near the greatest, yet still pretty good, makes me want to go out afterwards and drink in the sweetness of existence. And not even the culture-washing power of Disney, what with their sometimes sub-sub-par English translations that carry over in to the dubbing and subtitles and wonky promotional trailers (see below), can bleed the beast of Studio Ghibli dry. In any case, if you're dying to get your Ghibli fix ASAP, you can bet your bottom-self "Chinatown special" that Amoeba will likely have bargain Arrietty the Borrower DVDs on sale soon after the rest of the world does, just like we did with Tales from Earthsea three years ago. In your face, Magic Kingdom!

Coexisting with Scuby, Rappin' with Little Wings...

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, February 23, 2011 05:38pm | Post a Comment
little wings black grass record review album lp vinyl kyle field rad marriage surf lo-fi folk rock
Oh, man. I've been anticipating the release of this Little Wings record since, well, since Soft Pow'r dropped in 2007 because, real talk, I simply can't get enough of the stuff. Seriously, if his music was all I had to listen to for the rest of my life I can imagine living perfectly happy with that. So, I'll save myself from sharing what would certainly be an incredibly biased, glowing review of Black Grass (I only just received my record anyhow) and sum up my barely realized feelings about it thusly: it rules! The apple-tastic covert art hints at but a fraction of the symbolic baggage packed all up in that fresh LP sleeve and the *new* songs are as fresssh as the material devotees like me are surely already familiar with given the countless shows between albums, the Little Wings Daytrotter sesh last January and the ever-malleable nature of Kyle Field's approach to self-expression.

After an amazing (behooded, double-fisted microphone) Little Wings show at Amnesia earlier in January I chanced to speak with Kyle, who surprisingly and much to my embarrassment had heard about my one-off Little Wings cover band, and we agreed to scheme an instore gig (going down this Saturday, Feb. 26, 2pm at Amoeba Music in San Francisco)  and do an interview as well -- check it out below!

Ports O' Call: Paradise is Spinning (at 33 1/3 rpm)

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, February 22, 2011 12:00am | Post a Comment
What do you get when two nerds from the same record store meet regularly to discuss all manner of music, art and general enjoyment over rum flights and multiple cocktails at San Francisco's best stocked "tiki" lounge? Hmmm, somehow I can't rememeber...
exotica vinyl extravaganza jazz lp hapa haole surf hawaiian tiki kitch culture pop polynesian records covert art dj yma sumac martin denny arthur lyman mambo lounge
...oh right, "Ports O' Call" --- three hours of uninterrupted Exotica mixed live on the wheels of steel as a part of Amoeba's weekly, in-house "Mandala" DJ series! DJ Martin Baxter Lyman (a.k.a. Amoeba jazz-man extraordinaire, Mr. Scott Walker) and DJ Long Gone Gamelan Gong (that's me!) will be exploring the experimental themes and concepts of Polynesian infused grooves from the founding fathers of Exotica and their Tiki temple grounds to popular Hapa Haole and Surf styles, with respect to native influences inherent to and modern music influenced by the genre. So if all sounds Exotica are your thing then this Friday, February 25th, from 6 to 9pm is the best time for you to come down to Amoeba Music in San Francisco to do a little vinyl treasure hunting while we mix up some island fever inducing south seas sonic realness. Requests welcome!

Martin Denny & Si Zentner "Tiki" from Exotica Suite

Happy ("Lay Lady Lay" from the Isley Brothers on) Valentine's Day!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, February 14, 2011 10:20am | Post a Comment
Isely Brothers givin it back album cover soul cover record vinyl bob dylan sepia romantic song
Continuing from my two previous posts, here is a romantic ten and a half minute slice of Isley Brothers Valentine's Day realness, by way of Bob Dylan, circa their 1971 album Givin' It Back. If this don't turn the motor in your love machine over, well, I'd say it's time to check out what's going on under ya hood.
xoxo

"Lay Lady Lay" - The Isley Brothers

Ariel Pink's Haunted Grafitti Vinyl Back in Print!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, February 11, 2011 10:38am | Post a Comment
ariel pink haunted grafitti vinyl paw tracks label reissue vinyl in print rare doldrumsariel pink haunted grafitti vinyl paw tracks label reissue vinyl in print rare house arrest

Ohhh yeah! Get your paws on these vinyl reissues of two Ariel Pink albums, The Doldrums and House Arrest, via Animal Collective's Paw Tracks label, out on March 8! It's been a long while since I've seen a used copy of The Doldrums on wax floating around on the salesfloor and I've been disappointed that I didn't snag it ever since I had the chance. You know, that old story. Well, no friggin' worries, mate! And I'll be picking up a copy of House Arrest too!

"Every Night I Die at Miyagi's" from House Arrest:


"Good Kids Make Bad Grown Ups" from The Doldrums:


On a personal note: The Doldrums, with that signature home recording sound (consisting of a keyboard, guitar and 8-track as well as all those unbelievable vocally-generated drum sounds) is the shit, real talk. That side A packed with non-stop hits, including "For Kate I Wait," has long been a beloved summer jam and I can't wait to plop it on the platter of ye old hi-fi and kick back some cold ones, open all the windows and picture myself rollin' down this road come August:
ariel pink haunted grafitti summer jams vinyl reissue beach road outer banks heaven hot sunny weather
Route 12 is my highway to heaven, in syndication.
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