As reported earlier today by both the Guardian UK and Associated Press, famed British folk singer-songwriter John Martyn has died earlier today, of unknown causes, at age 60. Martyn, who was very recently awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in the 2009 New Year honours list, was best known for melding jazz with his folk musical style.
Martyn's 1973 album Solid Air, whose title track reportedly was a tribute to singer-songwriter Nick Drake, with whom Martyn was often compared, remains his most acclaimed album. Over his several decades-long career Martyn had collaborated with such high-profile acts as Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, and David Gilmour. Additionally he had collaborated a lot with his former wife Beverley Martyn.
As reported by the Guardian, Martyn, who was known for wholeheartedly living the rock n roll lifestyle (booze and drugs), had struggled in recent years with alcoholism and once told Q Magazine that, "If I could control myself more, I think the music would be much less interesting. I'd probably be a great deal richer but I'd have had far less fun and I'd be making really dull music."
In 2003 his right leg was partially amputated after a large cyst under his knee burst, leading him to spend his latter years in a wheelchair.
I recently found a bunch of old California punk flyers buried in a box that had been stored for years since back in the 80s when these shows that took place in both the Bay Area (SF and Berkeley) and in SoCal. This Amoeblog focuses on some California punk flyers from the 1980's.
Almost as much as I loved the music itself, I equally loved most of the simple but impassioned flyer designs and the raw energy that went into making them. They were often created by a band member or one of their extended crew. While the styles ranged a little bit from one flyer to another, they were usually just handdrawn graphics or images or maybe just one simple image cut out of a magazine and slapped on the page.
Sometimes the main information (the band names or club info) might have been handwritten or else typed out, but not like today on a computer. Back then it was usually made on a typewriter, then blown up on a copy machine to match the scale of the flyer.
Compared to now, when everyone has the luxury of a tricked-out computer oozing with graphic programs etc. that can do every type of desired design at the click of a finger, this was an archaic and simple time. It was when cut-and-paste meant literally cutting out an image or graphic with a scissors and pasting it with glue or Scotch tape or sometimes just spit to hold things in place. Having a friend who worked at a local Xerox store or working there yourself was always a plus. Same went for those who did fanzines. I remember many show flyers being so rushed that they would be Xeroxed and all passed out before anyone would catch some glaring typo or ommission such as the date of the event having been left off the flyer! Or sometimes with handwritten flyers it was impossible to make out the name of the venue or the date because it was so badly drawn or so artisitically done that design prevalied over content and legibility.
The movie is about two friends who are opposites when it comes to love, which in this movie equals life. They visit Spain for the summer, one to study art and architecture, one to study, of course, love and life. They quickly meet an artist named Juan Antonio who has a violent ex-wife, Maria Elena. Various entanglements ensue. I do tire sometimes of Woody Allen's female characters and their limitations in so many of his films -- his women are so often both shallow and unknowable, both to other characters and the audience. You can tell a man with a somewhat restricted, maybe even old fashioned knowledge of women's inner lives has written the script. But then, each time this thought enters my head while watching a Woody Allen film, I think of Annie Hall and I know that there is or was something more in him, just not in this particular movie, which for me includes Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Penelope Cruz exhibits enough rage and instability as Maria Elena to garner an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and good for her. She is probably the best, most emotive character in the film, and yet I was still frustrated by the lack of depth to her character.
Amoeba Music and Phil Blankenship are proud to present some of our film favorites at Los Angeles’ last full-time revival movie theater. See movies the way they're meant to be seen - on the big screen and with an audience!
New Beverly Cinema
7165 W Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Midnight, All Tickets $7