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Carl Ballantine 1917 - 2009

Posted by Whitmore, November 8, 2009 12:35pm | Post a Comment
Carl Ballantine
The comically inept magician known as The Amazing Ballantine or The Great Ballantine or the perfectly over the top moniker, Ballantine: The World's Greatest Magician, has died. The truly amazing Carl Ballantine, the comedian and character actor who is perhaps best known for his role of Lester Gruber, the confident con artist in McHale's Navy, was 92.

He died in his sleep this past week at his home in the Hollywood. I used to see him around the neighborhood all the time, usually at the post office or the grocery store. In a town jammed with celebrity sightings, it was only a Carl Ballantine sighting that would elicit an email or a phone call from several friends of mine.

Born Meyer Kessler in Chicago on September 27, 1917, he started performing magic tricks as a 9 year old, tricks learned from a local barber. By the time he was a teenager he was successful enough as a magician that he supported his family. When he felt a slight change in his magic career was needed, he renamed himself; 'Ballantine' came from an advertisement he saw for Ballantine whisky. One night when a magic trick failed miserably and he threw out a couple of one-liners to cover the error, the Amazing Ballantine was born. His career spanned vaudeville, film, television, Vegas and Broadway. Since the early 1940s, Ballantine always performed in a top hat, white tie and tails, his reason: “If the act dies, I'm dressed for it.”

In 1956 Ballantine was the first magician to play Las Vegas, appearing on a bill at the El Rancho Vegas Casino with Harry James, Betty Grable and Sammy Davis Jr. To promote the show, he rode a horse down the Las Vegas strip.

Ballantine appeared in a number of films, including The Shakiest Gun in the West, (1968), The World’s Greatest Lover (1977), Mr. Saturday Night (1992), and Speedway (1968) starring Elvis Presley, who offered Ballantine a Cadillac. His wife, comedian Ceil Cabot (who died in 2000 after 45 years of marriage), wouldn’t allow him to accept it. His most recent film appearance was in the biopic, Aimee Semple McPherson (2006).

November 6, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, November 6, 2009 11:11pm | Post a Comment
The Road movie ticket stub

Gift of Gab Drops Escape 2 Mars

Posted by Smiles Davis, November 6, 2009 04:42pm | Post a Comment
gift of gab
While at Zanzibar in Santa Monica for Afro Funke’ last night I overheard a partygoer compliment the host of the evening for his mic swag: “He’s got the gift of gab!” What a genius way to describe someone's oratory skills. Coincidently enough, just a few hours earlier, Blackalicious rapper and Quannum Projects member Gift of Gab performed on The Amoeba Hollywood stage. Blackalicious, a duo comprised of Gab and DJ/Producer Cheif Xcel, found a nice comfy position in the heart of underground hip-hop and has remained there since its inception in 1992. Quannum Projects is a hip-hop collective/ independent record label out of the San Francisco Bay Area comprised of DJs and Mcs. Ever heard of DJ Shadow or Lyrics Born? They’re some of the more notable members of the small unified group. Gift of Gab, although very much still a part of the duo, has been doing solo projects and collaborations with other hip-hop heavies like Lateef The Truth Speaker and Grouch and Eligh since 2004. Last night's zealous show was mind-blowing yet short lived, and nonetheless enjoyable.

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The Employee Interview Pt XXIII: Tom Lynch

Posted by Miss Ess, November 6, 2009 02:30pm | Post a Comment
Tom Lynch
12 Years Employment
Buyer Extraordinaire

rocket 455

Miss Ess: How did you end up at Amoeba?


Tom Lynch: I was working at Car City Records in Detroit, my co-worker, Geoff Walker, had just come back from his vacation to the Bay Area and told me about Amoeba opening in SF and looking for used LP buyers. Geoff had applied on a whim, got interviewed, and offered the job. Geoff came back , decided to go to grad school, declined the offer, and told me that I should give it a go. I was up for a change, not to mention Ireplacements had just been in a  wreck and had no more van and had no money to buy another one. So fate really forced my hand. I've always felt that they never really got over Geoff turning them down.  

ME: What is the best live show you have ever seen?

TL: Being one of three people in the audience as The Replacements ripped through their set at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit, July 1983. Everyone else was in the bar below the club watching Siouxsie & the Banshees videos. My pal John Maxwell & I and this weird short guy were the only people watching them -- they were opening for R.E.M. -- and this short guy was wearing a cowboy hat and cowboy boots, doing these sliding dance moves and was yelling at the 'Mat's to get off the stage. They were blazing hot; when nobody was looking they would crush you with their ferocity. They just laughed at him, threw lit cigarettes at him.

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Electronic New CD Release 11/6/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, November 6, 2009 11:31am | Post a Comment

MAREK HEMMANN
In Between
Freude-Am-Tanzen

This is the debut full-length album from Germany's Marek Hemmann, as well as the first CD long-player from the house of Freude-Am-Tanzen. Hemmann has long been one-half of the duo Hemmann & Kaden, who for years have been the pillars of the new house & techno scene, both as producers and as a live act. Hemmann has also been responsible for innumerable remixes, from Dirt Novitzky to Chopstick & Johnjon to Dusty Kid. In Between is pure technoid material in an eclectic house-world, which offers a new discovery at every turn. From classic deep-droning dub epos over frizzy house with shots of bossa nova and demanding horn-action, up to highly complex sample tone-art, this is a long, rewarding trip through techno-land. With a round of wholly comprehensive melancholy and hypnotic bass lines, the tracks bathe you in a type of beauty that will come over you like a sunrise.


CASSY
Simply Devotion
Cocoon

Like hardly any other contemporary DJ, Berlin-based Catherine Britton, aka Cassy, is living at the interfaces between reduction and soul, jazzy deep house and geometrically-structured techno. In Berlin, she quickly gained a residency at the Panorama Bar, worked as a producer with such renowned musicians as Ricardo Villalobos, Luciano, Mathew Jonson and Swayzak, and has released her music on labels such as Perlon and Ostgut Ton as well as on her own imprint, Cassy. Simply Devotion is Cassy's second mix CD after the highly-acclaimed Panorama Bar 01 (OSTGUT 002CD) compilation, and it is proof of her love for deep house of a different kind, which has -- despite occasional flashes of soul vocals -- nothing to do with garage house. With unhurried charm and a secure sense of the seductive power of house music, Cassy enchants us with more than 70 minutes of sensual sound hypnosis and she starts with an exclamation mark: together with his Ifach buddy Ian Loveday, aka Minimal Man, Baby Ford beguiles the listener with mantra house with hints of Italo-pop. Anton Zaprecalls, with his purified form of percussive dub house, the best days of Chez Damier, and Danny Howells makes you speechless with "September," a breathtaking stringed furioso in the best tradition of Detroit trance, remixed by Future Beat Alliance. Cassy's own unreleased track, "Magnificent Cat Won't Do," is powered by the kind of electrically-charged minimal dub soul that is so typical for her. The final track comes from Miami's house institution and Murk legend Ralph Falcon, with his house mix of "Whateva," which sits somewhere in between R'n'B vocals and acid reminiscences. Other artists include: Trus'me, Jitterbug, DJ Qu, Kai Alce, Azulu Phantom, STL, Taho, Quince, Kassem Mosse, Linkwood, Inland Knights, Kezym, Pierre LX, and Alan T and Alex K.

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