Amoeblog

what is coming out today...6/19...maps...art brut...

Posted by Brad Schelden, June 18, 2007 10:00pm | Post a Comment
Today is the big exciting day of the new White Stripes album "Icky Thump." I am going to let my fellow blogger Miss Ess review that one. I like what I have heard so far. But that girl is like their number one fan. Not in a creepy Kathy Bates Misery kind of way. But almost. I will spend some time today talking about two smaller albums coming out. First up is the new album by Maps called "We Can Create."

Maps is basically James Chapman. He is from Northampton, England. He has been releasing singles for a while now, slowly gathering his fans. This is one of those albums that I was immediately drawn to and liked right away. But I also knew that it would become one of those albums that my love would continue to grow for. Now listening to it for the 4th or 5th time I am quickly falling in love. It is kind of amazing that he used no computer or fancy programs to make this album. I can already hear people complaining that the album is too electronic and computer generated sounding. But like I said, no computers. He did it mostly himself with tape loops.

The album feels very warm and fuzzy. He is obviously influenced by some of the shoe gaze of the 90's like My Bloody Valentine and Lush. But also by the early electronic groups of the same period. And on some of the songs I even hear a bit of Beach Boys. Which is weird for me to even notice, since I happen to hate the Beach Boys. But I do hear it. However, it does not ruin the album for me. You can also hear a bit of Sigur Ros or Album Leaf or maybe some Postal Service. The album is consistently good. There is not just a couple good songs. It consistently works. James is bound to find his fans in the U.S. just as he has abroad. He has sort of a nice soothing pop voice. Kind of like Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie and Postal Service. It mixes nice with the electronics. It is less cold and distant than you would expect with this sort of electronic instrumentation. He will quickly make his way into your heart. I think.

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the best movies of the 80's...the first of many lists

Posted by Brad Schelden, June 17, 2007 12:58pm | Post a Comment
I am a bit obsessed with making lists of things. As a small child I remember making lists of everything. It might have something to do with my need to organize my life. I just like to remember things and to organize them into nice little lists. So this will be the first of my lists that I offer to you. There was recently a list of movies going around on myspace. It was a random list of mostly blockbuster movies that you were to check off the ones you had seen. This got me thinking about what would go on my list of movies. So I decided to go through that list inside my brain and write down my favorite movies of the 80's. A very formative period for me and many others. It was a decade of many great movies. Movies that simply can't be made now. Most of them are great simply because of the memories attached to them. Many of them seen in theaters and then many more times on TV. Many of them rented from one of my favorite video stores. Most of them watched late at night with my friends. Some of them watched again in the theater at midnight screenings. Many of them watched with directors commentaries on DVD years later. Many of my favorites were made in the late 70's and 1979 specifically. Alot of the great horror movies like The Omen and The Exorcist came out in the 70s. David Cronenberg and John Waters made some of their best films in the 70s. 1979 was not only a great year for music but for film as well. 1978 was the year of Halloween, Dawn of the Dead, and Piranha. In 1979 came Aliens, The Warriors, Over the Edge, Amityville Horror, and The Brood. But it was really all about the 80's. I don't know where I would be without these movies. It was really hard to put them in order. But they are roughly organized starting with my favorite.

top 100 movies of the 80s


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troll 2...the best worst movie of all time...

Posted by Brad Schelden, June 14, 2007 11:50pm | Post a Comment
I am a big fan of the 80's horror movie. I spent many hours in the video store making sure I had seen every bad 80's horror movie. However it seems that I missed one. Troll 2 is the name of this amazing movie. I had already seen the original Troll movie starring Sonny Bono and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Which is bad in its own special way. But nothing really comes close to how bad this movie is. To start with, it has nothing to do with Troll 1. There is not even a Troll in the movie. It is about goblins who live in the town of NILBOG.
My friends Josh and Andrew were kind enough to share this movie with me last night. The movie was released a couple of years ago on DVD as a combo pack with Troll 1 and Troll 2. This movie is listed on countless lists as the worst movie of all time and has developed a crazy cult following. They show this movie around the world at midnight screenings. This little horrible movie has somehow become one of the best worst movies ever.
                                                                                                                                                                   
I seriously can not stop thinking about how amazingly horrible this movies was. It is basically about a regular family. A clueless
dad and a slightly crazy mom with their 2 kids. One, an exercise crazed daughter who refuses to let her boyfriend have any friends. The other an awkward son whose only friend seems to be his dead grandpa Seth. For their vacation they switch houses with a weird family in a very small town. The town is basically all goblins but they are able to disguise themselves as humans. Or they are simply both human and goblin. They seem to be led by a Jim Jones type cult leader as well as a witchy sorceress type old lady who is played by a 12 year old girl. The towns people/golbins are all vegetarians and make the guests of the town eat weird green food which turns them into trees which then allows them to remain vegetarians and eat the humans. Somehow, someone thought this would make some sort of sense

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another day of new releases...6/12

Posted by Brad Schelden, June 11, 2007 09:14pm | Post a Comment
Queens of the Stone Age is just one of those bands that I can't stop liking. I always think that some day I will get sick of them and move on. But then I listen to them again and I just start liking them again. I have liked Mr. Josh Homme for a while now I guess. But not near as long as those into the early days of Kyuss. I didn't really listen to him until the first self titled Queens of the Stone Age album in 1998. The first place I probably heard them was at the Hole in the Wall or The Eagle. I think I quickly realized that this was a band I needed in my life. And then I got a bit obsessed with Rated R in 2000. I was a bit too busy with my shoe gaze and brit pop in the 90s to pay much attention to Josh Homme's 90's band Kyuss. His stuff didn't really sound like anything I was into which I guess is why I was intrigued. I think I probably needed something a bit harder in my music life. I needed some good stoner rock. I have since gone back and discovered all the great Kyuss and Desert Sessions albums.

The Queens of the Stone Age really got popular when "Rated R" came out. A couple years later they put out "Songs For the Deaf" in 2002. We did a huge instore with them at the Hollywood Amoeba. This is when I still worked there and I remember having fun with the sperm artwork for the album. I helped Kara decorate for some of the instores back then and it was hard to resist the sperm artwork on the posters. This was the album that gave us "No One Knows." Nick Oliveri left the band after this album. I am sure his departure will eventually be dramatized in the biopic about the Queens. Lullabies to Paralyze came out a couple years later in 2005.  The Queens of the Stone Age now release their fifth studio album.

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so real....oh really...is it really so real...songs from jeff buckley...

Posted by Brad Schelden, June 10, 2007 01:56pm | Post a Comment
It is always a little weird when a "new" album comes out  from someone who has died years ago. But I guess not really that weird when you look at the rest of the music industry. Most of the jazz and classical artists have been long dead yet continue to put out new albums. The industry is sometimes built on the collections and live albums of recently departed artists. Albums from Johnny Cash and Ray Charles sold by the millions after their deaths. Maybe its just weird since Jeff Buckley died so young. I can only begin to imagine the albums he could have continued to put out if he was still alive. After the death of Elliott Smith I had to get rid of all his records. I just didn't really want to deal with the fact he was gone. Listening to his records had been depressing enough when he was alive. I couldn't imagine how much worse it would be knowing he had taken his life.

However, my experience with Jeff Buckley is a bit different. I have to admit I had not really discovered him until after his passing and the release of "Sketches for my Sweetheart the Drunk." This is the album he was working on before his death. It has now been 10 years since his death. So I have been loving Mr. Jeff Buckley for about 10 years now. The first time I heard him I swore it was some new PJ Harvey songs that I had not heard yet. His voice is really amazing. The songs are all heartbreaking and beautiful. "Sketches" remains one of my favorite albums. There have been a few live and collected albums out in the last 10 years. So  we now get another one." So Real" is a collection of album tracks and live tracks from over the years. I will also admit that I am not usually a fan of  the live album. I would just rather see the live performance in person and listen to the studio album at home. Since I will not get the chance to see him live, this is as good as it will get. The album offers a fairly good introduction to Mr. Buckley.  Included on this compilation is an excellent live version of "So Real." It also includes an unreleased cover of the Smiths song "I Know it's Over." The album is mostly just a selection of songs from "Grace," "Sketches" and "Live at Sin-E" with a couple extras put on. Its mostly just an excuse for me to get obsessed with Jeff Buckley again. I have been listening to this album over and over again. I have also got out all of his other albums and have been revisiting them.

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