Amoeblog

Mardi Gras Mambo

Posted by Amoebite, February 26, 2009 04:08pm | Post a Comment
Mardi Gras Sign
Gris Gris Gumbo Ya Ya! It's carnival time again!

Mardi Gras is always a wonderful time at the old Amoeba, but this year the festivities were truly "marmalade!" More people attended than ever before, the floats were crazier, the music was funkier, and the Mardi Gras spirit was so strong some folks still haven't recovered. I saw a guy stumbling down Cahuenga covered in beads two days later... if it ain't the real thing, it's the closest you can get outside the French Quarter. If you were there, we love you; if you weren't, we wanna see you next year!

As usual, it snuck up on us again... we were still coughing from the flu and getting soaked with weeks of rain when we realized it was coming up on the calendar. Preparations kicked into high gear! We decorated the store in purple, gold and green, and then we redecorated it, and then we decorated it so much it was ridiculous. The PURPLE NURPLE krewe flung itself headfirst into float-making... the Yellow Submarine float made a battered but beautiful return, a sphinx & purple pyramid was set in motion, a tribute to recently deceased punkabilly pioneer Lux Interior of the Cramps (1948-2009), as well as an inexplicable float involving a space chicken surfing on a huge Dali-esque piano... at the last moment Karen dropped off a giant psychedelic timbale which this chicken was made to play like Tito Puente, and the floats were complete!


MEANWHILE... secret preparations were underway for the first ever Amoeba Irregular Marching Band! Led by Kim Pryor on trumpet and avant-garde sax player Becca, this motley ensemble worked up the spookiest, freakiest version of "When The Saints Go Marching In" we've ever heard! Augmented by the banjo of Matt Polley, a wheelchair-riding accordionista (Jada) and a second line anchored by Tom Wunder, Kris Konrad and Edythe, a truly celebratory zu-zu sound was pounded forth! It was left only to the Witch Queen of New Orleans, Mama Elicia, to howl wildly through a homemade megaphone and several feet of aluminum tubing and the sound was "ice cream."

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Indy Arts' Censorship Panel in San Francisco tonight - free

Posted by Billyjam, February 26, 2009 03:20pm | Post a Comment

Independent Arts & Media
(aka Indy Arts) is presenting a panel tonight in San Francisco on the ever-topical subject of censorship in arts and the media. As outlined by the organizers, freedom of speech doesn't necessarily mean that we are completely free to actually say or print anything that we wish.

Tonight's discussion, which is free, will be moderated by V. Vale from RESearch Publications, and will include panelists Jennifer Joseph of Manic D Press, Jesse Townley of Alternative Tentacles, KALX, & 924 Gilman, and John Hell of SF community micro radio station Pirate Cat Radio -- all of whom will offer their insights and experiences with censorship issues.

Tonight what exactly it is that can and cannot be said will be discussed and analyzed. Further, the panel will examine if what we aren't allowed to say should be said or not, and if so, who should determine these things. On this same topic, a few days ago I finally got to the wonderfully revealing Kirby Dick directed 2006 investigative documentary on the US film rating system This Film Is Not Yet Rated (avail on DVD at Amoeba) which opened up my eyes to some of the ridiculous grey-area forms of censorship that take place just within film rating. Worth watching.

Earlier today I asked one of tonight's panelists, Jesse Townley, who was profiled in a recent Amoeblog, what specifics might be addressed this evening by himself and other panelists: "I think it's about personal incidents of censorship/prior restraint (hello FCC!) as well as the larger issues," he replied. "No one is 'pro-censorship' but I wonder if there'll be any discussion of the 'crying fire in a theater' test, or child pornography, or the video game you mention, etc. I think there will be... Vale will keep it moving and interesting, no doubt about it."

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The Black Cobra

Posted by phil blankenship, February 26, 2009 10:31am | Post a Comment
The Black Cobra starring Fred WIlliamson  The Black Cobra directed by Stelvio Massi

Motorcycle Gang

Trans World Entertainment #0617

RANDY BEWLEY, GUITARIST WITH ATHENS, GA BAND PYLON DIES

Posted by Billyjam, February 26, 2009 07:32am | Post a Comment
       Pylon live at Hurrah (1981)

Randy Bewley, the guitarist with influential Athens GA band Pylon, died late yesterday afternoon. Bewley had been hospitalized after suffering a heart attack while driving in Athens on Monday when the van he was driving drifted off the road and tipped over, according to bandmate vocalist Vanessa Hay in an email message sent out to fanpylon gyrates of the band.

Considered the seminal group of the Athens music scene (later groups included B-52's who cited Pylon as influences and R.E.M. who later covered the Pylon song "Crazy"), Pylon formed in 1978 when all four members (Bewley & Hay -- then Brisco, bassist Michael Lachowski, & drummer Curtis Crowy) met up while attending the University of Georgia. A year later they released their debut and continued recording and performing up until 1983 when they temporarily disbanded. While they reformed in 1989 for two years and once again more recently five years ago, their most important years remain 1979-1983. 

When R.E.M. was chosen by Rolling Stone as "America's Best Rock And Roll Band" in 1987, R.E.M.'s drummer Bill Berry dismissed it famously, saying at the time, "We're not the best rock'n'roll band in America," and insisting that Pylon, who had been broken up for four years at that point, was much more deserving of the honor than his own group.

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Fat Tuesday at Amoeba San Francisco

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, February 25, 2009 05:43pm | Post a Comment
amoeba san francisco fat tuesday 2009

Not a Mardi Gras goes by uncelebrated at Amoeba Music SF, where locals of all ages gather to party, parade and laissez les bons temps rouler! This year's Fat Tuesday festivities included a low-country cooking, swamp-tastic feast of jambalaya, spicy salad and cornbread to die for provided by San Francisco's famous Cajun Pacific restaurant; traditional Mardi Gras King Cake procured especially for the fête; a parade and costume contest featuring a whole mess of masquerading merry-makers from the Boys & Girls Club dressed in their best Mardi Gras flair; very "Big Easy" 'centric DJ sets by the incomparable DJ Shona's Dad and DJ Vinnie spinning from Dixieland to Zydeco and all sounds in between; and last, but not least, at the helm of it all was Amoeba's Mardi Gras 2009 master of ceremonies and parade marshal Queen Crab Cake.

king cake at amoeba san francisco's fat tuesday 2009


Mardi Gras always seems to land on one of those crisp yet gloriously sunny days between the usual February rains that distinguish the "Northern California winter months" from the rest of the year and this year was, thankfully, no different from those of the past in spite of the conflicting, wet-blanket weather predictions. Not that a little rain would have made that much of a difference, I imagine. Seeing the amount of enthusiasm that swells the celebratory cup to the point of overflowing during Amoeba's Mardi Gras party each year is but one joy of many shared by both those who came to join the fun and those who find themselves suddenly caught in the revelry. For all the soulful sounds, sizzling rhythms, sugar and spices, sequins and feathers, and the traffic-stopping dance moves of DJ Shona's Dad (a kindred spirit) and the general gaiety, it cannot be said that Amoeba Music SF doesn't do Fat Tuesday any which way but vraiment bien.

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