Amoeblog

patti smith @ the fillmore

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 16, 2007 04:20pm | Post a Comment
I went to go see Patti Smith at the Fillmore last night. If you have ever seen her before then you know how amazing she is to see perform live. She did an instore at Amoeba in Hollywood. You can watch the great interview with her and Logan by going here. I know I throw around the word amazing a lot. But nobody deserves it more than her. She really has some power that I can not even explain. This power sort of takes over everyone in the crowd and it is something that will stay with you the rest of your life.

I never got the chance to see Patti in the 70's or 80's. It was not until about 6 or so years ago that I saw her for the first time. It was right after the release of "Gung Ho" and was also at the Fillmore in S.F. A sort of perfect place to see her. These days, I am often one of the oldest in the crowd. So it is always weird to be at a show like this where I am one of the youngest. It does not really matter who you are though. She will put out her power over the whole crowd. I swear, she should just run for president or something. But I think she has already found her calling. She has created some amazing music over the years. Her debut, "Horses," came out the year after I was born. It remains my favorite of hers and I am sure the favorite of many.  They actually just gave it a nice little reissue deluxe treatment a couple of years ago. Three years later came "Easter," which includes her awesome version of "Because the Night."

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coming out today 8/14...µ-Ziq...

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 13, 2007 11:30pm | Post a Comment
µ-Ziq has a new album out today. It is called "Duntisbourne Abbots Soulmate Devastation Technique." This is about the seventh album Mike Paradinas has released as µ-Ziq. Mike has been a busy little man over the last 15 years or so. He has been around through the shifts and changes in the world that is electronica music. I have been listening to him for a while now and am always intrigued and excited to hear what new thing he has worked on. Most of his µ-Ziq albums tend to be on the more minimal side of electronica. He often fits into what has become known as IDM. But maybe on the harder and more interesting side of IDM. But for sure this is some intelligent dance music.

His songs are often multi layered compositions that create brilliant little albums. His first two albums were put out on Rephlex, the label of Richard D. James (Aphex Twin). Later albums came out on Astralwerks and now his own label Planet Mu. He has also recorded under the names Tusken Raiders, Kid Spatula, Rude Ass Tinker, Jake Slazenger, Gary Moscheles, and Diesel M. And he released an album with Richard D. James as Mike & Rich. I first heard of µ-Ziq when he did the remix project "The Auteurs Vs µ-Ziq." Being a big fan of the britpop, I tended to try to listen and buy anything related to it. I was also starting to get into techno music at this point, so this album was the perfect bridge for me to get into it.

One of my favorite albums remains his 1999 masterpiece "Royal Astronomy." The album sort of has a fun circus feel to it. A weird electronic sort of circus. He doesn't seem to take himself as serious as some other electronica artists. Or maybe he just likes to have more fun with his albums. His songs always have a playful feel about them. He also likes to play with the genre. His albums are sort of a mix of drum and bass and IDM. But the songs are also real developed songs. He likes to experiment but he also likes to create music that is pleasing to the ear. This new album does not stray too much from the last couple µ-Ziq albums. Some of the songs could have easily appeared on some of his older albums. The album is a bit daker than Royal Astronomy. The playfulness of that album is a bit muted. But it is still there. The album is more similar to his earlier albums. I am liking the album and I am looking forward to listening to it more. Perceptions always change as you listen to his albums more and more. But it is also making me want to pull out some of his older albums.

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siskel & ebert on the web

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 9, 2007 07:23pm | Post a Comment
I don't know about you, but I have been a big Siskel & Ebert fan since I can remember liking movies. I would try to watch their show every Sunday when I got a chance. Half the time they would review movies that I was not even allowed to go see. But it still caught my interest and I think helped to develop my obsession for the movies. I had not really been watching it that much over the last 10 years. But now with the great amazing invention of the DVR, I can watch it every week. Somebody has to really change the way that shows get ratings, now that so many people watch their shows on DVRs. I feel bad that nobody really knows the shows that I support by watching every week. But I guess most advertisers don't care if you are watching their shows on you DVR since you are most likely fast forwarding through their commercials that they pay so much money for you to watch.

I really always wanted to be a Nielsen Family. Unfortunately you can't volunteer to be one. They must pick you. It is a little weird that I have never met a Nielsen family. Has anybody you've know even know one. I kind of think the whole thing is a big scam. There is probably only like 2 Nielsen families with horrible taste that are deciding the fate of our favorite TV shows. I mean, how else would shows like "Everybody Loves Raymond" last 9 years. I have never met anyone who watched that show. Home Improvement lasted 8 seasons, yet My So-Called Life was canceled. Major Dad lasted 4 years and Twin Peaks only 2? Who are these Nielsen families?
This is what they have to say on the official website...

Q. "Why Have I never met a Nielsen Family"

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out today 8/7...okkervil river...flight of the conchords...

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 6, 2007 10:34pm | Post a Comment
This little band called Okkervil River have been a band for almost 10 years. They come from the wonderful little town called Austin, Texas.  Austin is actually not really that little. Not only is it the capital of Texas but it is also the 16th largest city in the United States. It is also home to that little festival called South by Southwest and that brilliant little band called Explosions in the Sky. Although Okkervil River have been around for a while, I really think that this is the album that is going to make them big stars. Or maybe just a little bit bigger stars. They really are brilliant. Any fan of the Shins should for sure also be an Okkervil fan. Imagine the Shins mixed up with some Will Oldham and Willie Nelson along with some darker bands like Black Heart Procession or Arab Strap. "Stage Names" is basically their fourth real album and it comes out this week.

I have been hearing friends talk about this band for years. Numerous people told me of their great devotion for Okkervil. But I didn't really give them the time they deserved until the last album, "Black Sheep Boy." The album was great and a bit magical. It got a lot of praise as I am sure this new one will get as well. I say magical mostly because of singer Will Sheff. He has one of those voices that is really easy to fall in love with. He is also in the band Shearwater with Jonathan Meiburg.
As I have been talking about this band more lately, I have also found out that many of my friends also like Okkervil River. It is always a nice little surprise to find out some of your friends like a band that you had hoped they would like.

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hot fuzz is the new point break

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 2, 2007 10:18pm | Post a Comment
If you missed Hot Fuzz in the theater, I feel really bad for you. It was hilarious to see up on the big screen where it was meant to be seen. But don't worry too much, it still holds up on DVD. The movie is nothing short of brilliant. Just plain brilliant. The DVD just came out this week and I think you should just go out and buy it, even if you have not seen it yet. It was written and directed by Edgar Wright, the genius who created "Shaun of the Dead." The star of both films, Simon Pegg, also co-wrote both films. Simon Pegg's sidekick, Nick Frost, also stars in both films. These British lads work brilliantly together in both films. They are like the Reeves & Busey, Gibson & Glover, or Murphy & Reinhold of England.

                                                                            
"Hot Fuzz" is sort of a spoof of the action buddy films of America like "Lethal Weapon," "Point Break," and "Bad Boys." Simon Pegg plays a London cop who is basically making the other cops look bad because he actually does a good job. He is sent to a small tranquil British town. Nick Frost plays the local cop who he is paired up with. Of course, the small town ends up having some crazy big city type crimes. Luckily both cops have seen enough of those American action movies to know how to handle the situation. It becomes a hilarious and ridiculous over the top action film. While "Shaun of the Dead" was spoofing the zombie horror movie, it actually ended up becoming an excellent zombie movie. The same thing happens here. It is much more than a Saturday Night Live type spoof made into a movie. It actually works.

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