Amoeblog

The Dickies' "Banana Splits" Theme & Other Reasons to Love Kick-Ass, The Movie & Its Soundtrack

Posted by Billyjam, May 12, 2010 11:10am | Post a Comment

There are many memorable scenes in the wonderful recently released film Kick-Ass, but the two that stick in my mind most are the first big fight scene featuring the young superhero Hit Girl with its kick-ass accompanying music (the "Banana Splits" theme), and the scene in which the wanna-be superheroes Kick Ass and Red Mist are riding in their souped-up super-ride enjoying their fave song on the car's booming sound system ("Crazy").

At surface the latter scene, which comes just past the half-way mark in the 110 minute movie, looks like it is simply regurgitating that well worn Hollywood scenario in which, typically, two or more guys are in their ride singing along at the top of their lungs to that song (the song that makers hope defines the movie). We've seen it in Wayne's World and million other movies since. But in the refreshingly unique Kick Ass this scene is subtly different.

For starters, Red Mist (played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse) is doing something a superhero is never seen doing; he is smoking a joint, and while driving ("A little weed takes the edge off things when I'm on patrol," he assures his abstaining fellow costumed wanna be superhero riding shotgun). And soon after, as Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" starts playing, the two "costumed vigilantes," looking at once ridiculous and hilarious, do a stupid but highly entertaining seat dance, grooving their heads and upper torsos in unison to the 2006 hit.

The power of this scene, like the rest of this comic-book comedy-action flick, is that it lets the viewer in on the joke, and the strength of Kick Ass is how it allows us in on all the shortcomings of its characters. For example, as we follow the Kick Ass character (played by Aaron Johnson) we clearly see that when he is, in all earnestness, patrolling the dangerous streets of New York, he is just a harmless teen in a costume who could get beaten up at any moment. Of course, the only real superhero in this flick is the tween Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz, just 11 when the film was shot), who steals the film.

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Amoeba Berkeley's Top 5 with Inti, Madlib's 420 Themed Medicine Show, J-Rocc v J-Man, Damu the Fudgemunk, Del's Funk for Free, New E40 Video + More: Amoeba Music Weekly Hip-Hop Round Up: 05:07:10

Posted by Billyjam, May 7, 2010 09:12am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 05:07:10

Madlib
1) Madlib Madlib Medicine Show #4: 420 Chalice All-Stars (Stones Throw)

2) B.o.B. presents The Adventures Of Bobby Ray (Rebel Rock/Grand Hustle/Atlantic)

3) E40 Revenue Retrievin'- Day Shift (Heavy on the Grind Ent.)

    E40 Revenue Retrievin'- Night Shift (Heavy on the Grind Ent.)
                        [Tie for #3]

4) Andre Nickatina Khan! The Me Generation (I-Khan Dist)

5) J-Rocc J-Rocc v J-Man (Jazzman)

Inti's Bonus Two Pick Hits of the Week:

 
I) Hulk Hodn & Twit One + Suff Daddy Hi-Hat Club Vol. 1: Testiculo Y Uno + Hi-Hat Club Vol. 2: Suff Draft (Melting Pot Music)

II) Damu The Fudgemunk How It Should Sound Vol 1 & 2 (Redefinition Records)

Big ups to Inti at Amoeba Music Berkeley for this week's Hip-Hop Top Five Chart, appearing here in both text and video form. Sitting atop the latest chart is the fourth and latest installment in the ever diverse twelve part monthly Medicine Show series from the prolific producer Madlib. For Madlib Medicine Show #4: 420 Chalice All-Stars the mad-busy LA producer serves a mix of roots reggae beats and grooves, keeping it strictly in the ganja mode. In fact, Madlib, known for his love of the sticky icky, not only worked "420" into the title but also deliberately released this CD on the 20th day of the fourth month (aka J-Rocc v J-Man4/20) to keep in theme with a non-stop aural assault of roots rock reggae. Furthermore, Madlib oversaw the CD's accompanying 12-page booklet that includes a special supplement listing every medicinal marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles (and there are a lot!). Those who are following/collecting this Madlib Medicine Show series already know that the even-month releases (2,4,6 etc.) are mixtapes like this one while the odd numbers (1,3,5 etc.) are all original material like the Guilty Simpson (Before The Verdict) release that kick-started the series back in January and the next one, Madlib Medicine Show #5: History Of The Loop Digga, 1990-2000, which will drop later this month.

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Flying Lotus, Whose Amoeba Hollywood Instore Happens Today (Thursday), is Flying All the Way to the Top With Cosmogramma!

Posted by Billyjam, May 6, 2010 12:01pm | Post a Comment
Flying Lotus
What an amazing and well-deserved rise to fame and recognition it has been for the super-gifted Los Angeles producer/musician Flying Lotus, who performs for free at 7pm tonight (May 6th) at Amoeba Music Hollywood in support of his highly recommended brand new album Cosmogramma.

Only a matter of years ago the now globally respected FlyLo (as he is fondly known by fans, but was born  Steven Ellison 26 years ago) was clocking hours as an intern at Stones Throw Records and, in between doing mundane mail room chores, was just trying to get people to listen to his demo instrumental hip-hop productions.

Fast forward to 2010 and he has just completed a US tour (that culminated in a celebrated Coachella set) opening for Thom Yorke's Atoms For Peace. Yorke, a major fan, personally chose FlyLo for the much coveted opening act slot just as he had hand-picked another California producer, DJ Shadow, to open for Radiohead many years back. Not only that, but Yorke also supplies guest vocals on Cosmogramma on one of the album's many jaw-droppingly brilliant tracks. The album, the artist's fourth release and his third for the respected Warp Records label (following 2008's Los Angeles & the previous year's the Reset EP -- his 2006 debut full-length was 1983 on Plug Research), was released on Tuesday this week Stateside (Monday in the UK). And if you don't already have it, go cop it right now at Amoeba. Better still, if you are in Southern Cali today, head over to the Amoeba on Sunset for the instore so that a year and more from now you can gloat to friends, "Oh yeah. I seen em play at Amoeba for free back in the day!"

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The Town: Part I: Rent-A-Relic in the Temescal District of Oakland

Posted by Billyjam, May 5, 2010 03:45pm | Post a Comment
Amoeblog interview with Rich Craig + Todd Connors of North Oakland's Rent-A-Relic

This is the first in a new Amoeblog series focusing on businesses and organizations in The Town (aka Oakland, CA) including many small, independently run & operated local businesses that are neighbors of the Amoeba Berkeley store, from steps away and up to a one or two, or three mile radius. Kick-starting this new series is the successful North Oakland car rental company Rent-A-Relic. Located on Telegraph at 45th in the Temescal District, Rent-A-Relic has seen their surrounding neighborhood undergo much development since they opened shop back in 1993, with countless other small independently operated businesses (including lots of restaurants) opening up along Telegraph Avenue. Rent-A-Relic, which also offers notary services, is run by Rich, Todd, and Spencer, and anytime you stop into their small offices, odds are that you will hear good music, from Miles Davis to the Minutemen, playing in the background. I caught up with Rich to interview him about operating a business like Rent-A-Relic and about music and radio, among other things. He supplied his Top 5, while Todd supplied his Top 25 -- all below.


Rent-A-Relic Rich's All Time Top Five Albums:

Meat Puppets Huevos
1) Meat Puppets
Huevos


Forthcoming Documentary To Have & To Hold Is A Wonderful Homage to Vinyl and Record Collecting

Posted by Billyjam, May 3, 2010 01:15pm | Post a Comment

As proven by the runaway success of the recent Record Store Day, the demand for, and the overall appreciation of, vinyl records is growing at a most impressive rate. It's clear that records ain't going away anytime soon. Both longtime record collectors and new younger vinyl appreciators weened on MP3's, who To Have & To Holdseek a warmer, fuller sounding & more tactile alternative, are keeping vinyl alive. As I like to say, you can't put your arms around an MP3. So considering the healthy renaissance that vinyl is currently enjoying, the timing for the forthcoming Jony Lyle directed homage to vinyl records, To Have & To Hold, could not be better.

Vinyl records carry a very deep & profound meaning for those who collect them, as you can see from the above six minute-clip of excerpts from this forthcoming ninety minute documentary that includes interviews with such vinyl aficionados as Questlove, Danny Krivit, DJ Amir, Chuck D, Bobbito Garcia, Christian Marclay, Bruce Lundvall, and Paul Mawhinney,

To Have & To Hold director Jony Lyle, who has opened record shops in Edinburgh and Barcelona and  is co-founder of Scratch club in London, Edinburgh and Gothenburg, describes his film as “a musicmentory to celebrate the age of vinyl records.” Featuring a nice mix of all things vinyl, including the aforementioned interviews (all conducted amidst the respective aficionado's record collection), archive footage, record pressing plant footage, and such eye candy for vinyl fiends like myself as the segment filmed at PS1 Contemporary Arts Center in Queens, NY of the 12" records as floor tiles exhibit.

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