Amoeblog

Pansy Division: Life in a Gay Rock Band

Posted by Miss Ess, June 21, 2008 01:13pm | Post a Comment
pansy division jon ginoli

The Bay Area's own Pansy Division are the stars of a new documentary chronicling their blood, sweat and tears as one of the country's first out queer rock bands. The title of the film is, appropriately, Pansy Division: Life in a Gay Rock Band. It will have its first US festival screening this Thursday, June 26 at 7pm at the Victoria Theater as part of this year's Frameline LGBT Film Festival. For more info on the screening click here.

The film was created out of older footage and recent band member interviews and was directed by Michael Carmona. Bass player Chris Freeman has a film degree and was the editor of the film! I spoke to band member Jon Ginoli about it and he related that the documentary is "an outsider's perspective with insider's access." 

The band will be in attendance at the screening and there will be an afterparty at the fabulous Eagle Tavern, where Pansy Division will perform!

He's Lost Control Again! The UnControllable Hulk

Posted by Charles Reece, June 21, 2008 12:12pm | Post a Comment

An experimental mishap with gamma radiation transforms Joy Division frontman into uncontrollable Id.

As a young lad in Manchester, Bruce Banner discovered a love for the proto-punk music of David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed.  Although possessing a high aptitude for science, Bruce dreamed of being a rock star. However, he had to pay the bills, so he took a top secret government research job in what back in the days of WWII was called the Super Soldier Project. The Project was an intergovernmental operation existing between the Yanks and Brits. What it produced was a gamma-radiated concoction called, appropriately enough, the super-soldier serum. After testing it out unsuccessfully on a bunch of minority servicemen in the US Army, the science team found one skinny white dude named Steve Rogers who was turned into the Nazi-fighting hero, Captain America (soon to get his own feature film -- directed by John Cassavetes' son, Nick -- which, in turn, will lead into an Avengers movie). Poor old Cap was frozen in ice and thought to be dead, leaving it a mystery what was so special about his cellular structure. But Bruce is unaware of the Project's history, naÏvely believing he is using his degree in molecular biology for finding a cure to epilepsy, not developing a human killing machine.

The Summer Solstice, Renewing My Blather

Posted by Whitmore, June 21, 2008 07:20am | Post a Comment

I’ve spent the last month or so moving, filling my new apartment and emptying my previous life. Funny, once my old house was bare and the garage was cleared of all its natural debris, I wanted to stay. Then again, no surprise there, just a few weeks earlier I wanted to torch the garage with all my crap inside: the thousands of records, the hundreds of books, the furniture, memorabilia -- destroy everything that wouldn’t fit into a Trader Joe’s shopping bag and my pants pockets, and the rest just send up in an electrifying whoosh of a bonfire. I could have used a purifying ritual about then, no matter how cruelly naked the results. Sorry to muff such a blissful moment, an unfulfilled act I needed to execute decades ago. I just didn’t have a gas can or matches this time around.

Actually, I couldn’t hang onto the mindset I’d need to genuinely cleanse my life. Besides if I did burn it all down, I would have ruined this fine-looking tableau of rafters, conduit and cobwebs. Right now, with my weary, worn back, boxes weighing down every square inch of walk-able space in my new digs, living in an empty garage staring at the rafters seem so much more appealing than sorting through my fifth edition dog-eared books and my bubblegum records and the scraps of paper that explain who the hell lives here.

Summer began June 20th at 23:59PM, coordinated Universal Time, which is mean solar time at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich in London, overlooking the River Thames -- Coordinates 51° 28′ 40.12″ N, 0° 0′ 5.31″ W.  And here in sunny ol’ Tinseltown -- coordinates 34° 6′ 0″ N, 118° 20′ 0″ W, summer began at 4:59 P.M, June 20th.

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Such A Pretty Mess

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, June 21, 2008 12:10am | Post a Comment

OK, a couple of weeks ago I was speaking to a friend about what movies I'd especially like to see screened... At the top was Kamikaze '89, Fassbinder's starring role in a totally depressing (now retro) futurist New Wave sci-fi thriller. Second on the list was Never Too Young To Die. Only a matter of a couple hours went by before I noticed that, due to the terrible fire at Universal Studios, Phil had changed a few of the titles he was showing. Boom, there it was!!! A real life, full screen showing of one the 80's strangest creations.  Gene Simmons dressed up looking like Carmen Miranda morphed with Frank N Furter, wearing Lynda Carter's old fake Kiss costume. The God of Thunder as an eco-terrorist by day and Pre-Op glam-metal cabaret singer by night. Vanity flying "high" after her big role in Barry Gordy's the Last Dragon. John Stamos as the 2nd generation secret agent gymnast sent to save LA. It's all waiting for you 24 hrs from now, down at the New Beverly which is located at  7165 Beverly Blvd., just west of  La Brea. Phil will take your $7 at the window, please thank him for showing this film!!! 

Eric Dolphy

Posted by Whitmore, June 20, 2008 04:04pm | Post a Comment

80 years ago today, in 1928, the legendary jazz musician and groundbreaking force of nature Eric Dolphy was born in Los Angeles. He was one of guiding forces who piloted the "new thing" of jazz though the late fifties and the 1960’s. His unique improvisational style intoned wide intervals, extended techniques, scorching intensity and unexpected sonic explorations on alto sax, clarinets, and flute. Such sounds were seldom heard before and seldom sound as accomplished since.

Educated at Los Angeles City College, he walked the fine line between traditional/mainstream jazz and the avant-garde like few musicians could. Though his work is often classified as simply “free jazz,” Dolphy’s playing was more then just his own idiosyncratic personal voice. He touched on the history of most jazz styles, from New Orleans to bop to third stream; he experimented with various non-Western music and 20th century classical ideology, pioneering extensions as both a soloist and as a jazz composer. His influence is still felt today.

During his short time on the scene Dolphy played with almost every great jazz musician of the day including, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman, Chico Hamilton, Oliver Nelson, Max Roach, Gerald Wilson, Abbey Lincoln, Gunther Schuller, and Andrew Hill. In his own bands Dolphy included the likes of Tony Williams, Herbie Hancock, Bobby Hutcherson, Woody Shaw, Richard Davis, Ron Carter, Jaki Byard, Roy Haynes, Mal Waldron, Booker Little and Freddie Hubbard.

At the age of 36 Eric Dolphy died in a diabetic coma in Berlin on June 29th, 1964. Dolphy was posthumously inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame shortly after his death.

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