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JULY 14th IS BASTILLE DAY

Posted by Billyjam, July 14, 2009 05:00pm | Post a Comment

Today, July 14th, is Bastille Day 2009; the day that marked the storming of the oppressive Bastille prison and the beginning of the French Revolution 220 years ago. Over in France this morning there were parades and tonight they are having firework displays in recognition of the holiday. Actually, this has already taken place since they in France are 9 hours ahead of us here in Cali -- see video above of tonight's fireworks in Paris by the Eiffel Tower.

Over here in the States many folks are also celebrating -- some using it as a good excuse to get their swerve on and sip some French themed drinks. In San Francisco there are quite a few events scheduled. Click this link from the French Consulate for a listing of SF Bastille Day events.

But nothing Stateside comes close to the big event over in Paris, as witnessed from the videos above and also below of last year's Bastille Day, courtesy of the Associated Press, when thousands of people thronged the Champs-Elysee to watch a military parade and celebrate Bastille Day. French President Nicholas Sarkozy is among the many present.


SLAYER MADE THRASH METAL MAYHEM IN CALI OVER WEEKEND

Posted by Billyjam, July 14, 2009 10:27am | Post a Comment

Over the weekend California got into classic thrash metal mode with Slayer, who played the big Mayhem Festival which opened on Friday in Marysville (Sacramento area), set up stage at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View (Bay Area) on Saturday and played in San Bernardino at the slayerSan Manuel Amphitheater last night. Above and below is some fan video footage of the SoCal metal legends, who formed 28 years ago, performing on the opening night of the tour, doing the songs "Jihad" (above) and "War Ensemble" (below).

This second year of the traveling Mayhem festival also includes Marilyn Manson, Killswitch Engage, Bullet For My Valentine (BFMV) and, for a few select upcoming dates in place of BFMV, Mushroomhead. Also on the tour are the bands Cannibal Corpse, Behemoth, Job For A Cowboy, The Black Dahlia Murder, Whitechapel, Trivium, All That Remains, and God Forbid. On each date of the tour a different band that won the Jägermeister Battle of the Bands contest performs, including Skinlab, who played the first night, Corrupt Absolute, who played Shoreline, and Madlife, who played SoCal last night.
The Mayhem US tour continues through the middle of next month with stops in all the major urban areas with the final date in Dallas, TX on August 15th. More Mayhem info here.

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SUBWAY ART PHOTOGRAPER HENRY CHALFANT INTERVIEW

Posted by Billyjam, July 11, 2009 04:45pm | Post a Comment
Subway Art
Subway Art
-- the legendary graffiti art book by Henry Chalfant and Martha Cooper -- has just recently been republished in a nice big coffee table hard cover version appropriately titled Subway Art: 25th Anniversary Edition. The book has never been out of print since its initial 1984 publication but this new anniversary edition is just jaw-droppingly amazing and a must-have for any graffiti fan.

Its much larger scale and new dimensions of 17" by 13" full-color spreads allow the crispy clear photos to fully come to life in their bright, beautiful colors and hence make them so much easier to fully appreciate.

The new edition of Subway Art also offers numerous never-before-seen photos from that late 70's / early 80's era of New York City when Cooper and Chalfant were documenting this vibrant and rampant illegal public transit art form; one that would be gone by the end of the decade in which the book was first published. But over the years Subway Art has taken on life of its own and the influential book has gone on to sell a staggering half a million copies.

I recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Henry Chalfant about this influential art book. A Stanford graduate who was first a sculptor, Chalfant has lived in New York City for many years and is now nearing 70. He is equally known in graffiti circles for his documentation of the art form via the book Spraycan Art which he co-authored with James Prigoff, and for Style Wars, the historic PBS documentary on New York graffiti that he co-produced with Tony Silver. Chalfant's work can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A few years ago he directed the excellent Latin and hip-hop themed documentary about the South Bronx, From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale, that aired on PBS stations in 2006.

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AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP (VIDEO VERSION): 07:10:09

Posted by Billyjam, July 10, 2009 10:50am | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music San Fra
Cagencisco Hip-Hop Top Five: 07:10:09 (by Luis, hip-hop buyer)

1) Cage Depart From Me (Def Jux)

2) Alchemist Chemical Warfare (KOCH)

3) J-Dilla Dillanthology 2: Dilla's Remixes for Various Artists Remixes (Rapster)

4) Chali 2na Fish Outta Water (Decon)

5) Notes To Self A Shot In The Dark (BBE)

Single of the week: 

Kid Cudi
"Make Her Say" (Universal/Motown)

Thanks to Luis (as seen in YouTube clip above), the hip-hop buyer at Amoeba Music, San Francisco, for this week's top five best selling new hip-hop CDs, plus the single of the week. Cage, this week's number one, even surpasses his last innovative outing Hell's Winter from four years ago. This new Def Jux album is bound to break the gifted New York progressive rap artist onto the mainstream. Just check out the video below for the new Cage album track "I Never Knew You." The song and accompanying video (directed by Shia Labeouf) have the same power and engaging urgency that Nirvana's breakout single/video "Smells Like Teen Spirit" did back in the early nineties. Coincidentally, Cage's notoriously troubled past, including mental health problems and drug abuse, draw some parallels to Kurt Cobain. Although thankfully it seems that Cage has gotten his shit chali 2na fish outta watertogether as far as the hard drugs are concerned, so hopefully he can stay mentally healthy & focused on his art and continue to make great albums like Depart From Me.

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CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON IN 3-D @ PARAMOUNT TONIGHT

Posted by Billyjam, July 10, 2009 07:44am | Post a Comment

Despite the effortless and seemingly endless dissemination of information via all the new tools of this digital age (Twitter,  text messages, Facebook, blogs, emails, etc.), I still value learning about stuff via such creature from the black lagoonold school ways as simply reading about it in the paper. That's how I found out about the screening of the classic monster movie Creature From The Black Lagoon at the Paramount Theater in Oakland tonight. An ad for the 3-D screening was on the back page of this week's Bay Guardian immediately below an ad for Amoeba Music.
 
In this greatest of movie monster flicks, directed by Jack Arnold, the plot goes as such: Gill man Dr. David Reed and his girlfriend Kay Lawrence (Richard Carlson and Julia Adams) join a scientific expedition into the Amazon's "Black Lagoon" to investigate an alleged missing link between man and fish. The 1954 film offered pioneering underwater photography, with cinematographer Charles Welbourne pushing the envelope and dispensing of the standard (up til then) static camera shots by using a portable moving camera that followed the film's swimmers. This classic 1950s film went on to inspire two sequels: Revenge of the Creature and The Creature Walks Among Us, although neither were as popular as the original.
 
Creature From The Black Lagoon, which is available on DVD but not in 3-D (look for it at Amoeba Music) is best seen on the big screen and enjoyed in glorious 3-D. At tonight's screening in downtown Oakland's wonderfully preserved art deco Paramount, 3-D glasses will be provided as you enter the theater. And the recession-friendly price of only $5 (including Paramount Classic Movie Nights cartoon, classic newsreel, and trailers before the main feature begins) is the best value you will find for your weekend night out, not to mention the art deco architecture masterpiece that you also get to enjoy. Parmount Classic Movie nights also the live Wurltizer organ serenade plus a raffle - chance to win free prizes.

Paramount Movie Classics' screening of Creature From The Black Lagoon is at the Paramount Theater @ 2025 Broadway, downtown Oakland at 8pm tonight, Friday July 10th, with doors opening at 7pm. Box office opens at 6pm.

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