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The Friendly Ranger Returns: Early Thin Lizzy Remasters Available at Long Last!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, December 6, 2010 09:35pm | Post a Comment
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Anyone been obsessing as much as I have over those early Thin Lizzy double-disc remasters that were supposed to hit the shelves over a year ago? After what seemed like an eon, Decca has seen to giving the first three Lizzy records a polished shine, reuniting a-sides with b-sides, outtakes, Peel Sessions, live jams, and the like appropriately on each respective extended reissue. Sadly, Thin Lizzy's self-titled debut and their sophomore effort Shades of a Blue Orphanage are not packaged as two CD super sets, as was promised once upon a time, but they pack just as many fever-inducing extras as the stellar Vagabonds of the Western World double-disc bonanza --- the final of the initial three Lizzy albums recorded as the bluesy, folk/rock trio of Eric Bell on guitar, Brian Downey on drums and the legendary Philip Lynott fronting the band on bass, acoustic guitar and vocals. Even if you have most of the rare and "unreleased" content squirreled away in your Lizzy collection already (like I do since I can't stop obsessing over this band because, let's face it, every Lizzy fan is Lizzy's greatest fan), it feels real, real good to have it all spiffed up and compiled together in the sort of slick, comprehensive presentation the music really deserves. The only thing that's missing here is the inclusion of the "lost" Thin Lizzy tracks, like this bongo-rific boho alternate version of "The Friendly Ranger at Clontarf Castle."

"Friendly Ranger at Clontarf Castle" -- an early early version


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Victory Vignettes: San Francisco Celebrates Their "Misfit" Giants With a Song (and Then Some)

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, November 4, 2010 02:34pm | Post a Comment
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Yesterday was an orange day in San Francisco, a day worth putting responsibilities aside in order to get down there and be a part of it. Amongst fans who had cheered the Giants to their World Series victory in Monday night, fans who cheered the Giants through the post season, fans who had rallied the 2010 "misfits" team when they were playing to win, fans who chanted their names when they were playing like an "unbelievable" machine, fans who cheered our homeboys -- including a rookie named, of all names, Buster -- when they played like fools and lifelong fans who have been waiting for as long as they can remember to savor the sweetness of a 56-years-in-the-making world championship, I reveled in yesterday's parade and subsequent celebration knowing that the memory of it will bring smiles to faces in the city for a long time to come.
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Donning a shirt I bought during the 2002 season (a #5 Tsuyoshi Shinjo shirt, the center fielder who hit the first Major League homer I ever witnessed in person at the then still new Giants ballpark and a player who went from "one to watch" to "hard to watch" in the span of just a few months) and hadn't worn or washed since game seven of that wretched "Rally Monkey" series, I headed out for the beginning of the parade route (four blocks from my Chinatown roost) to cheer everyone on our home team through the streets of the Financial District, only to make the journey across town to meet up with the frenzied masses again at parade's end in front of City Hall. Despite the fact that it was an unusually hot day in San Francisco, with hardly a breeze to speak of, my old Giants tee never felt so fresh or so clean (clean).

A Happy (and Hairy) Heavy Metal Halloween Top Thirteen!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, October 31, 2010 01:13pm | Post a Comment
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If you missed banging your head during the three hour heavy/hair metal sets DJ BJ (who shared many glory stories of nights spent in the trenches of the glamorous Hollyweird sleaze-rock scene) and I spun this past Friday at Amoeba Music San Francisco, here's a wee cross-section of the darkest and most sinister selections you can spin for your pleasure whether you're spending this Halloween night in your inner oubliette or amongst fiends!

1.) "Halloween" - King Diamond

2.) "Touch of Evil" - Judas Priest

3.)
"God Bless the Children of the Beast" - Motley Crue

4.)
"Madhouse" - Anthrax

5.)"Walk in the Shadows" - Queensryche

6.)
"Close My Eyes Forever" - Lita Ford feat. Ozzy Osbourne

7.) "
Fear of the Dark" - Iron Maiden

8.) "Black Sabbath" - Black Sabbath

9.) "
Gail" - Alice Cooper

10.)"
Midnight/Tornado" - Skid Row

11.) "
Scared" - Dangerous Toys

12.) "Iced Earth" - Dracula

13.) "Halloween" - Helloween


What's Got Into That Cat!? Japanese Cult Classic Hausu Out Today on Criterion DVD and Blu-Ray!!!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, October 26, 2010 02:00am | Post a Comment
Everybody knows that old cats can open doors, but did you know that only ghost cats can close them?
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Well, to quote the great Levar Burton, don't take my word for it, find out for yourself! Here's to the joy of lessons learned from Nobuhiko Obayashi's 1977 cinematic freak-out Hausu (or House if you speak American), a film that'll give you a trick-or-treating of horror-infused psychedelia like you've never ever experienced, not even in your wildest, most delightfully random-ass frightmares. Hausu dvd criterion japanese horror cult kitch film movie eye cat While it's difficult to know where to begin in reviewing this amazing monkeyshine, it should not go without saying that supposedly the story was dictated to the director by his 11-year-old daughter, which pretty much makes the movie itself just as crazy as, well, a story told by a demented little girl with cat fancy, Auntie issues, and campy ideas about "indecent" piano behavior. Add to that the fact that Hausu seems to be a visual exercise in testing the limits on how many times a movie can one-up itself, utilizing a lightning round of every stylistic technique known to film-making all the way, as if daring viewers to exclaim "this shit is bananas!" to which the movie quite literally delivers a shit-ton of bananas, no kidding. hausu house dvd japanese movie cirterion cult classic weird funny wacky campy

Chateau Notes: In Conversation with Agent Ribbons -- Their Shophomore Release, Chatueau Crone, Drops Today!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, October 12, 2010 01:33pm | Post a Comment
agent ribbons

Agent Ribbons
is, plainly put, one of the most bewitching band of ladies I've ever encountered in a live setting. Their raw feminine energy and rosy demeanor create an infectious dynamic tension when they perform their songs, almost as if they dare the shadowy figures sulking (most likely) at the bar to rise on invisible strings and sway like moths enchanted by the shine of the widow's web. Yes, lawd, these salty sirens have the ability to spellbind when their signature sibylline sound mingles with such fetching aesthetic fury --- it's a lusty mix heady enough to have you hooked in an instant. agent ribbons chateau crone album cover interview girl band

A little while back I had a chance to chat with the missus Ribbons after they played a brief but burning hot set at the Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco. Here guitarist/vocalist Natalie Gordon, drums/accordion/vocalist Lauren Hess and violinist/cellist/vocalist Naomi Cherie dish about their newest release, Chateau Crone, on Antenna Farm records, which hits the shelves at Amoeba today, their move from California to Texas, upcoming projects and other sundry subjects!

First of all, fabulous show! I think I can speak for everyone when I say I only wished it had been longer (it was a short set, but people were fist-pumping!). Are there plans in place for a proper Chateau Crone tour?

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