Film fans in Los Angeles take note, the Egyptian is screening some very rare and completely amazing Giallo this month.
For those of you unfamiliar with the genre a quick search on Wikipedia comes up with this:
Giallo (pronounced IPA: ['ʤallo]) is an Italian 20th century genre of literature and film. It is closely related to the French fantastique genre, crime fiction, horror fiction and eroticism. The term is also used to mean an example of the genre, in which case it can take the Italian plural gialli. The word giallo is Italian for "yellow" (see Wiktionary: giallo) and stems from the genre's origin in paperback novels with yellow covers.
All genres have their fair share of crap to wade through, but I feel Giallo is one of the most difficult. It's a catch all genre that DVD companies and, in the past, tape traders padded full of dull "action films," painful "horror" and sleep inducing "sexploitation." Aaah, but like a good Roughie, when you find the right film, it's well worth the wade through the dirty waters. Although the Egyptian festival is by no means complete, it's an amazing selection.There are so many interesting, if not great, Giallos that it would take an annual festival to really do it right....Anyone listening???
Juan in the hip-hop department at Amoeba Music Berkeley reports that two of the hottest selling new albums at the East Bay store this past week were Little Brother's ...and justus for all and The 3rd Degree by Immortal Technique, which includes cameos from Chino XL, Ras Kass, and Crooked I and production courtesy of Green Lantern, plus Buckwild (DITC), Scram Jones, and Southpaw.
North Carolina's Phonte and Rapper Big Pooh are reportedly releasing a total of five albums between them this year, both collaboratively and solo, including just one jointly under their group name, Little Brother.
The tight new album ...and justus for all is actually a kind of re-release since it came out last year with the same title in a (slightly different) mixtape format, which was overseen by DJ Mick Boogie. Released on Hall Of Justus, the new version of ...and justus for all has been cleaned up to a crispy clean sound via re-mastering. It also includes five new Little Brother songs that were not on the 2007 mixtape version of ...and justus for all.
This has been the summer of too much…too much to do in L.A., that is. In a summer of record gas cost and rising inflation, we are all looking for an escape. Maybe our plans for traveling have been put on hold due to the economy, but it doesn’t mean we all can’t have fun, right? It’s just now we have to wait for the fun to come to us.
June 20th marked the arrival of Seun Kuti to Los Angeles. There were a record number of people at the show at Grand Performances, not only for Seun but for the price (free).
Seun performed with Egypt 80, Fela Kuti’s last band before his premature death. Since Fela’s death more than 10 years ago Seun has been performing with the group, and this was their first time in Los Angeles. Egypt 80 is the real deal. Not to knock bands such as Antibalas and The Budos Band who play Afro-Beat (and do it quite well, I should add), but there is nothing like hearing Afro-Beat being performed by the people who have been doing it for years. About five thousand plus were absolutely losing it. The dance floor was packed to near capacity and people were dancing in the pools that separated the people from the group.
The next day (Saturday) I went to MOCA for their CineMoca series. For $10 you can check out the featured movie the exhibits inside The Geffen Contemporary. On this particular night, MOCA featured a mash-up of two similar themed movies created by Los Angeles–based artist Edgar Arceneaux. The two movies, Dave Chappelle’s Block Party and Wattstax, seamlessly flowed in and out of each other much like a DJ mix and created its own movie -- from Rufus Thomas to Mos Def, The Bar Kays to Erykah Badu, Dave Chappelle to Richard Pryor. I love seeing movies outdoors, so this was a treat for me. On top of that, I met one of my favorite writers at showing. Her name is Marisela Norte. Marisela has been a big inspiration on not only my writing, but also how I look at life. She was part of infamous ASCO artist group back in the 80’s and her Norte/Word spoken word CD released on Freeway Records is a classic. It is way out of print but if you can find it I suggest it most highly.