Amoeblog

8/28 new releases...the liars...jamie t....

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 27, 2007 10:30pm | Post a Comment
The Liars have a new album for us this week. With their fourth album they decided to go for that basic s/t title of "Liars." This band has sort of been all over the place with the four albums in their history. They started on the label Gern Blandsten with "They Threw Us All In a Trench and Stuck a Monument On Top. This was way back in 2001. And although they were not originally from New York, they were stuck into that whole new New York Indie post-rock dance-punk kind of sound. Along with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Liars were sort of an exciting change to how boring indie rock had become. They combined experimental techniques with a sort of more traditional indie rock style. It was exciting. Over the past 6 or so years they have put out another 2 albums on Mute and now another one. And they have managed to stay interesting and exciting. It was probably better for them to not become as quickly popular as Franz Ferdinand or the Arctic Monkeys. But I guess they have always been a bit too weird to get that popular. They have sort of slowly managed to get critical acclaim and hold on to their more loyal fans while getting a few more with each album.

This new album can easily be mistaken for some early Jesus & Mary Chain or Spiritualized. The band is made up of Angus Andrew on guitar and vocals, Aaron Hemphill on percussion, guitar and synth, and Julian Gross on drums. Angus is from Australia. The other two are from the U.S. They really do sort of capture that amazing Jesus & Mary Chain sound. But they don't come off as an imitation. It sounds like something new and exciting while reminding you why you fell in love with bands like the Jesus & Mary Chain.

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the best movies of the 70's

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 26, 2007 09:36pm | Post a Comment
In continuing my best of lists, here is my list of the best films of the 70s. In case you missed my list of 80s films, you can go back here and check it out. Since I was born half way through the 70s, I did not see most of these films in the theater. But through the magic of cable TV and the VCR, I watched and fell in love with these movies. The 70s still remains my favorite time for film. The style and sound of these films is something that could only be captured in the 70s. Many of these movies have been remade or are in the process of being remade. But they never live up to the 70s originals. Dawn of the Dead, Stepford Wives, The Omen, Superman, Assault on Precinct 13, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, King Kong, Poseidon Adventure, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Black Christmas, The Amityville Horror and The Hills Have Eyes have all been remade. There is obviously something magical about this period in cinema that Hollywood tries to recreate. I am really hoping that Rob Zombie creates a brilliant reinterpretation of Halloween. I know that versions of Logan's Run and The Warriors are already being worked on as well. Nothing can really come close to what these films are and the memories that they have created in all of us.

top 100 movies of the 70s



The Exorcist (73)
William Friedkin



                                                                                             Alien (79)
                               Ridley Scott
                                  

muppets...season 2

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 24, 2007 09:23am | Post a Comment
I don't know if I have really explained how much I love the great late Mr. Jim Henson. I know I just talked about him and his great films Labyrinth and Dark Crystal. But there was also this amazing little show called "The Muppet Show." I don't really know where I would be without this show. I did watch a lot of Sesame Street. But it was the night time show "The Muppet Show" that really made me who I am today. It was one of those great shows that appealed to kids as well as their parents. So it wasn't like my parents had to make me watch the show. And they also never minded watching it along with me and my brother. It was hilarious and brilliant. Nothing really like it. And although some of the jokes may not be as relevant today, they are still hilarious. Season 1 of the Muppet show came out in August about 2 years ago. But this month, we get Season 2 of this great show.

The Muppet show was on the air from 1976 to 1981. It lasted 5 seasons. But it didn't get canceled or fade into obscurity. Jim Henson simply needed more time to devote to his feature films like Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. And his amazing trilogy of Muppet movies. The Muppet Movie (1979), The Great Muppet Caper (1981), and The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984). These were followed by more similar Muppet movies. But these early movies were the best. These movies only made me more obsessed with the muppets.

Each episode of the Muppet Show featured a guest star. And there was never the same guest on all 5 seasons. Season 1 featured Phyllis Diller, Paul Williams, Rita Moreno, Sandy Duncan, Ben Vereen, Jim Nabors, Florence Henderson, Joel Grey, Twiggy, and in one of my favorite episodes, Vincent Price. The list of season 2 guests is just as great. And the first episode features the amazing Don Knotts! Also featured in season 2 is Milton Berle, Judy Collins, Steve Martin, George Burns, Dom Deluise, Bernadette Peters, Elton John, Lou Rawls, Peter Sellers, Petula Clark, Bob Hope, John Cleese, and Cloris Leachman.

what is coming out on August 21st?...

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 21, 2007 03:00pm | Post a Comment

Out today is the new album from your favorite San Francisco band "Imperial Teen." They may not all live in San Francisco anymore, but they will always be a San Francisco Band. They became a band in San Francisco in the mid 90s and released their first album "Seasick" in 1996. This was also the year I moved to San Francisco. So this band is sort of special for me. I think this band is super special for anybody who discovered them in the 90s.  I was listening to a lot of super depressing and dreary bands in the 90s. I still love all those bands but I think I really needed some Imperial Teen in my life. I was always a bit afraid of pop music. I thought it would make me too happy. Around this time I started listening to bands like Heavenly, Henry's Dress, the Aisler's Set, and the Softies. But Imperial Teen combined great fun pop music with that sort of San Francisco indie rock that is hard to explain. I don't know if it just sounds like that cause I heard all these bands play live in San Francisco so much. Or if it really is a certain type of sound. I just can't separate the bands from the city.

Seasick was a great album and everybody who heard it loved it. But it was really in 1999 that Imperial Teen started getting more popular. They released the amazing second album, "What is Not To Love."  They also had their hit song "Yoo Hoo" on the Jawbreaker soundtrack. It was sort of hard to to get away from that song that year. But I really loved that record. Just like Imperial Teen will always be tied to my memories of San Francisco, "What is Not To Love" will always be tied up with the year 1999. It is part of my own little soundtrack to that year and the end of the 90s. In 2002 I had moved to Hollywood. A couple members of the band also ended up down there and they released the album "On." They left their major label for the indie Merge. Both those first albums are now out of print. So it is up to Merge to do some little reissues for some essential ablums that nobody should really be without.

Labyrinth Anniversary Edition

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 19, 2007 07:08pm | Post a Comment
It is hard to believe that it has been 20 years since the original release of "Labyrinth." This movie was one of my favorites at the time. It came out a couple of years after Time Bandits, The Neverending Story, and Dark Crystal. The same year as Legend. A year after Goonies, Back to the Future, and Teen Wolf. The year before Willow and The Princess Bride.  Like many of us, I was a big fan of the fantasy film as a child and teenager. To be honest, I guess I still am.  Many of these films, like Labyrinth, had a story within a story. It allowed the story to be believable as a dream or "fantasy" world. But also never really that scary since we knew it was just a story. It wasn't until I was a bit older when my love of fantasy films turned into my love of horror films.  I was also obsessed with Jim Henson and the Muppets. Jim Henson directed both The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. Labyrinth also starred David Bowie. This movie really had everything going for it. It was sort of impossible for it not to be as successful as it was. The movie made its way deep into our hearts and still remains there to this day. This week we get the release of the Anniversary editions of both Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal. Muppets Season 2 also comes out. It is a big week for Jim Henson fans.

I have been in the process of replacing all my VHS with new DVDs. But I always have to wait until the deluxe versions of the movies come out. I want all the special stuff that they add on to the DVDs. And while there is always something missing, these versions often convince me to buy them. The Anniversary Edition of Labyrinth is 2 discs. I guess they meant to put this out last year as the 20th anniversary. But 21 years is close enough. Last year was also the 70th anniversary of Jim Henson's birth.  The movie starred Jennifer Connelly as a young girl bored with babysitting. She imagines herself into the world of goblins and creatures and the evil leader "David Bowie." The film is brilliant. And with the work of Jim Henson the film was ahead of its time. The creature effects still hold up and end up looking better than any modern film such as The Lord of the Rings. And with David Bowie we get an amazing original soundtrack. The soundtrack included 5 original David Bowie songs. The songs were sort of cheesy at the time, so I don;t really think they have gotten any worse.  And they are an integral part of the movie. I still know all the words to "Magic Dance" and "Underground." I always try to imagine this movie with Michael Jackson in the Bowie role. I don't know if it could have been better, but it for sure would have been amazing.

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