Amoeblog

patrick wolf live at cafe du nord...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 23, 2007 10:23am | Post a Comment

So last night we went down to the beautiful Cafe Du Nord to see the brilliant Patrick Wolf. Curt had never been there! So I was excited for him to see it. The bastard has only been to San Francisco once about five years ago. I missed that show and have been waiting ever since to see him live. I have loved all 3 of his albums and have been waiting patiently to hear how they sounded live. I was a little worried that he would disappoint.  It was hard to imagine him pulling off the brilliance of the albums in a live setting. But he literally blew me and everyone there away. I was expecting some over the top outfit and of course he met my expectations in this regard at least. I thought maybe some suspenders and a jaunty cap with a feather. He came out with a blue wig, shiny gold suspenders and little school boy shorts. He reminded me of a young Liza Minnelli mixed with Mccauley Culkin's version of Michael Alig. Maybe with a little Marc Almond and high school musical thrown in there. He even made a costume change half way through the show. He was joined by three young men on stage. Stand up bass, drums, and of course electronics. His violin player had gone back to England because of the "weather." The songs sounded great live and he was quite the little show man. He interacted with the crowd and told some great little stories.
 
He played a lot of my favorites from the first two albums. The live version of "To the Lighthouse" brought some little tears to my eyes. The highlight of the night was right before he came on stage. Five bears walked right in front of us to find their spot for the show. While a couple of them were obviously dragged to the show. The fact that they were there made me happy. It was overall a very stylish indie crowd. But its nice to know he has crossed the boundaries into bear territory. And I swear I saw George Lucas and Catherine Zeta Jones in front of me as well. The best thing about the show was how positive he was. He could have easily been a little mopey depressed emo goth on stage complaining about how horrible and tragic his life was. But he instead remained positive and optimistic. He shared not only his music with the audience but also a little bit of love. I left the show with a big smile on my face.

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the albums coming out today 5/22

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 21, 2007 07:29pm | Post a Comment
Out today is the new album by Erasure. Yes, they are still putting out albums. It seems like they are putting out a new album every year or so now. Almost as often as their best period in the late 80s and early 90s. Vince Clark, one half of Erasure, is for sure one of my heroes. After helping to form Depeche Mode and create one of the first brilliant synth albums "Speak and Spell,"  he went on to create two brilliant Yaz albums. Then came Erasure with such brilliant albums as "Wonderland, "The Innocents," "Wild," and "Chorus." Erasure has actually surprised me a couple times over the past couple years by creating some still brilliant songs. They basically invented synth pop back in the 80s. I can't really imagine where I would be without them. They have wrote some of the catchiest songs of the period that still remain great songs.

This new album is about their 13th full length album. Maybe their 15th if you count "Crackers International" and the brilliant ABBA cover album "ABBAesque." They have continued to make accessible dance albums over the years. However, with 13 or 15 albums there are bound to be some ups and downs. "I Say I Say I Say" really marked the end of the great Erasure albums, for me at least. Some might say it ended with 1991's excellent album "Chorus." In 2005 they ended up making a great comeback album, "Nightbird." I have to admit that I am still impressed with Erasure and their new album "Light at the End of the World." It may not have as many great songs as their albums of the past. But Andy Bell and Vince Clark still have the magic to make a catchy pop album. It is easy to find yourself singing along to most of the songs on the album. It might just be my memories of albums past that has kept me an Erasure fan after all these years. But they still have me under their spell. They created a lasting genre that has affected millions and influenced many.

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bjork live!

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 20, 2007 12:36pm | Post a Comment
So yesterday started off really good. My old friend from Long Beach Poly High School dropped by Amoeba. I had not seen Melissa in like 14 years. But of course we recognized each other and it seemed like it had only been a couple months. I didn't really realize that I miss her until we hung out a little.  The rest of the day I had little memories of all the important events I experienced with her. We had to talk about Cameron Diaz a bit. I still can't believe she has not talked about her formative years in high school drama. So I dedicate this blog to my friend Melissa. It's crazy its been so long.

Last night we had the pleasure of seeing Bjork live. For some reason I have never made it out to see her before. I kind of find it hard to believe myself. But it just has never worked out. Or maybe I've been to so many shows at this point that I am starting to forget who I have  seen.  Although it is kind of a hassle to get all the way out to Shoreline, it is kind of a fun adventure.  It's like a little vacation. Parking is just a bit of a nightmare. Even though they have hundreds of employees directing traffic, it still manages to take way longer than it should. There is also nothing really to do in Mountain View other than work at Google or go to a show at Shoreline.  But we did manage to find In-N-Out. So did everyone else it seemed. So we ate our meatless hamburger with hundreds of other Bjork fans. I don't ever eat fast food, but In-N-Out is my one exception. Even though the employees seem to be all part of some weird religious cult, they do make good food. And it is nice that nothing is frozen. They also don't look at you weird when you order an animal style grilled cheese!

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the angel collection...high school honor student by day...hollywood hooker by night...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 17, 2007 05:56pm | Post a Comment
I finally picked up a copy of the Angel Collection on DVD. Not the Buffy spin-off but the classic 80s teen prostitute saga, "Angel." The original Angel starred Donna Wilkes as Molly Stewart (Angel). She also starred in another one of my favorites "Grotesque" with Linda Blair.  She was Molly during the day, a perfect honor student in high school and then turned into Angel at night, the teenage Hollywood Boulevard prostitute. This movie was released in 1984 and directed by Robert Vincent O'Neill. He had directed some great cult films of the 70s such as "Wonder Women" about kung fu girls on the rampage and "Blood Mania" about a sex crazed nympho who kills her father for the inheritance.

I'm not sure why, but this was one of my favorites as a teenager. I watched it one day on cable and was sort of obsessed with it after that. I couldn't actually remember what it was even called until I found it a couple years ago. You can imagine my joy when i found out it was released as a widescreen DVD box set. The film went on to spawn 2 more movies, "Avenging Angel" and "Angel III: The Final Chapter." All 3 are included in the box set. There is actually a fourth movie made in 1994 "Angel: Undercover." I have never seen this one but I can only imagine how horrible it is. Although, I would not pass it up if it ever shows up on cable. Angel is played by a different actress in each movie. The best of the bunch is for sure the first. Unfortunately you will not find any much needed commentaries or documentaries. But they do at least give you some deleted scenes and the original theatrical trailers.

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coming out today...5/15...rufus wainwright...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 14, 2007 09:29pm | Post a Comment
Today is the release day of the new album "Release the Stars" by Rufus Wainwright. This is his fifth album. Rufus comes from one of those crazy music families just full of crazy talent. It kind of makes me a little jealous. His dad is the great Loudon Wainwright III and his mom is Kate McGarrical. His sister, Martha, is also a musician. His first self titled album came out in 1998. I have to admit that I first got into Rufus when I found out that he was gay. Even today, very few musicians actually admit to being gay. Especially when starting out in the music business. It took Elton John like 50 years to come out. I felt it was my duty to support him and I was intrigued. But I actually ended up liking his debut album "Rufus Wainwright" quite a bit. Some might find him a bit dramatic but he really does have  a stunning voice.




Although you will have a hard time noticing it, Neil Tennant from the Pet Shop Boys is the executive producer. When I first heard about Neil being involved, I was expecting a very different album. I was sort of expecting a mix of Erasure and Liberace. However, nothing could be farther away from what the album actually turned out to be. It is still a very Rufus album. The album also features Richard Thompson. The Thompson and Wainwright families are often intertwined.  Teddy Thompson, the son of Richard and Linda Thompson, is a good friend and often plays live with Rufus. His new album is brilliant. He really is a great songwriter. He manages to capture a tragic feeling in all his songs even if they seem to be at first happy little ballads. His signature voice carries you through the album and brings you into his little Rufus world. Its hard not to notice his love of the showtunes and the opera. He for sure likes the drama. However, its not done in a mocking way or even a kitschy way. Rufus plays his own piano on most of the songs. Sometimes you might even feel you are at a piano bar listening to your favorite song. But a really good piano bar that you would keep coming back to. He has his own unique style but also manages to create an album that even your grandma might like. Just as long as she doesn't look to deep into the lyrics.

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