Amoeblog

FESTIVAL EXPRESS FREE SCREENING AT AMOEBA'S MONDAY MOVIES

Posted by Billyjam, August 31, 2009 11:04am | Post a Comment
Grateful Dead "Don't Ease Me In" from Festival Express, Toronto, June 1970

Last week kicked off the highly recommended free Amoeba's Monday Movies series in Hollywood, CA at Space15twenty with a screening of the Hurricane Katrina themed film Trouble the Water -- a Festival Expresswonderfully produced documentary, albeit with an unsettling subject matter. In contrast, tonight's screening of the fun, must-see music documentary Festival Express, which captures a magical slice of time and rock history from almost forty years ago, is much lighter in its content.

The film was shot in the summer of 1970 over a period of five days on a cool custom made train with some very talented passengers on board, including Janis Joplin, The Band, the Grateful Dead, Flying Burrito Brothers, Buddy Guy, and Sha Na Na. The train trekked its way across Canada from Toronto, to Calgary and to Winnipeg, with its crew stopping to perform concerts along the route.

What makes this film so unique and so endearing is just how candid everyone comes across in their intimate portrayals. I love this film and was so moved when I first saw it six months ago, especially by Janis Joplin's role. Her great performances  tragically would be some of her very last, since she died within a few months of this trans Canadian tour. I wrote an Amoeblog about Festival Express and Joplin back when I first watched the film.

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Amoeba Hollywood World Music Charts For August

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 31, 2009 01:10am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Hollywood World Music Top Ten
For The Week Of August 24-31st
:

1. V/A-Sound Of Wonder!
2. Chico Sonido-S/T
3. V/A- Black Rio Vol. 2
4. Bebe-Y.
5. Lila Downs-La Cantina
6. Natalia Lafourcade-Hu Hu Hu
7. Los Amigos Invisible-Commercial
8. Merche-Cal Y Arena
9. V/A-Panama Vol.2
10. Serge Gainsbourg- Initials SG-Best Of Serge Gainsbourg

The Sound of Wonder compilation just edged out Chico Sonido’s self-titled release to take the top spot of the week. At number five was Lila DownsLa Cantina, a release that dates back to 2006. Why, you ask? Perhaps because Lila landed in the hospital last week with a case of appendicitis and had to cancel all her shows in California, including a free show at The Santa Monica Pier last Thursday. I’m guessing that people came to Amoeba to get their Lila fix. To Lila, we wish a speedy recovery and we look forward to her next show at The Hollywood Forever Cemetery on October 24th for the Dia De Los Muertos Festival.

At number six is Natalia Lafourcade's latest, Hu Hu Hu. Released in Mexico in May (and yes, of course, not domestically) this is Natalia’s best release to date. Her songwriting has matured yet still retaines that youthful edge, especially lyrically. Much like Juan Son’s Mermaid Sashimi, Natalia’s release also reveals that she is a recent graduate of The Brian Wilson School of Songwriting, sans Juan Son’s flair for the dramatic. Despite obvious influences, Natalia still marches to the beat of her own drum. I can see a whole new generation of Latin American singer/songwriters using Hu Hu Hu as a template for their future work, much like they did with her past releases.

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August 30, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, August 30, 2009 10:25pm | Post a Comment
The Goods movie ticket stub AMC Burbank 8




I really disliked The Goods. Afterwards I watched Julie & Julia:


America Gets a Post-Racial: The Legacy of Lee Atwater

Posted by Charles Reece, August 30, 2009 10:03am | Post a Comment
The latest issue of The London Review of Books has an excellent essay, "What Matters," by Walter Benn Michaels (author of The Trouble with Diversity). In analyzing the recent arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Michaels answers my fellow blogger Eric's question of "who's black?" with another, more telling question: "who's poor?." To wit:

Gates, as one of his Harvard colleagues said, is ‘a famous, wealthy and important black man’, a point Gates himself tried to make to the arresting officer – the way he put it was: ‘You don’t know who you’re messing with.’ But, despite the helpful hint, the cop failed to recognise an essential truth about neoliberal America: it’s no longer enough to kowtow to rich white people; now you have to kowtow to rich black people too.

[...]

In the US, one of the great uses of racism was (and is) to induce poor white people to feel a crucial and entirely specious fellowship with rich white people; one of the great uses of anti-racism is to make poor black people feel a crucial and equally specious fellowship with rich black people. Furthermore, in the form of the celebration of ‘identity’ and ‘ethnic diversity’, it seeks to create a bond between poor black people and rich white ones. So the African-American woman who cleans my office is supposed to feel not so bad about the fact that I make almost ten times as much money as she does because she can be confident that I’m not racist or sexist and that I respect her culture. And she’s also supposed to feel pride because the dean of our college, who makes much more than ten times what she does, is African-American, like her. And since the chancellor of our university, who makes more than 15 times what she does, is not only African-American but a woman too (the fruits of both anti-racism and anti-sexism!), she can feel doubly good about her.

In the words of our first "post-racial" president's speechwriters, it's the economy, stupid (or, rather, the racially stupid economy -- even its staunchest proponents this side of Ayn Rand will tell you that capitalism is amoral). As the harbinger of racial peace through commercial success, a prescient Arsenio Hall managed to signify our current climate through one particular performance that bridged the old racial divide in popular culture, that of the poor black's blues and the poor white's country:

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Solid Gold! Interview with David Lynch

Posted by Charles Reece, August 29, 2009 07:18pm | Post a Comment
My pal Kyle and I had a chance to interview the best living director. Here 'tis:


Stick around for the credits; the Amoeba film crew did a beautiful job making it.
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