Amoeblog

out today 3/25...hercules & love affair...

Posted by Brad Schelden, March 25, 2008 01:11pm | Post a Comment

I have been really obsessed with Antony & the Johnsons since I moved to Los Angeles. I'm not really sure why. I did first listen to him when I initially moved to Los Angeles in 2001, so maybe I have him attached to Los Angeles in my mind. I was immediately in love with him. He was like a stretched out version of Marc Almond-- a bit more intense and not as flamboyant. I guess he had a different kind of flamboyance. He's also incredibly interesting and completely engaging. I wanted to know more about this man. My love for him grew after I eventually moved back to San Francisco. After recently finding myself living back in L.A. once again, I inevitably began listening to all his albums. I listened to them over and over again as I unpacked and rearranged my new apartment. I even broke out a live bootleg album that a friend of mine had made for me. I normally stay away from the live albums-- I would rather physically be there at a live show-- but I even became obsessed with this live album and soon had all his comments to the crowd memorized as if they were part of the album. So of course I was excited to find out that Antony would be featured on a new album coming out this year. Hercules & Love Affair just released their self titled album in the U.K. on DFA Records. You might have to wait a couple months for a domestic release, but in the meantime it is more than worth the import price for this amazing new debut album. You will find Antony on the vocals for four of the ten songs. He also sings some back up on an additional song.

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(In which Job sees something beautiful.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 25, 2008 11:38am | Post a Comment

Me and my girlfriends. Note Corey's rad Leslie Hall shirt!

Friday night I was fortunate enough to see Margaret Cho’s new show, “Beautiful”…

…This grapefruit juice tastes weird… Huh… It’s kind of hard to tell if grapefruit juice is a little “off”, because good grapefruit juice should taste a little bad…

Anyway, Corey got press tickets and he chose me to be his date for the show. Quite a coincidence, considering I’m also his boyfriend.

Once upon a time, everyone I knew was a big fan of le Cho. Lately, however, it seems a lot of hipsters have turned sour. Common complaints include that she’s co-opting the GLBT movement, and/or, her material never changes – she just revises the same routine.

These comments make me crazy. Last time I checked, the GLBT community wasn’t “so accepted” that it could afford to start being snobby about who embraced it (Kenny G coming out of the closet being a rare exception).
Cho’s self-proclaimed “queerness” transcends most sexual identifications, which may be a more evolved concept of sexuality. Personally, I find the choice between gay, straight, or bisexual to be similar to asking someone what their favorite color is: white, black, or grey?

And as far as her material being variations on the same themes? Uh, Richard Pryor didn’t just deal with race for “that one record”. Lily Tomlin’s never going to be considered for the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. Bill Cosby, Rusty Warren, Lenny Bruce, Bill Hicks, Chris Rock, Sandra Bernhard… Most, if not all, stand-up comics have a consistent style and content.

BAY AREA ARTISTS TAKE MANHATTAN

Posted by Billyjam, March 24, 2008 07:00pm | Post a Comment
        

It was a Bay Area weekend in New York with a bunch of different artists from the Bay Area in New York City over the weekend each doing their thing (Bay recognize Bay mayn).  These included the 30 member San Francisco Leonard Cohen-covering men's choir the Conspiracy of Beards who literally took Manhattan (as well as other parts of the area) as they blew everyone away during their six-gigs in two days.

These half a dozen shows included performances at  the Bowery Poetry Club, the Highline Ballroom,  Grumpy's Cafe in Greenpoint, the Box,  and on the air at both WFMU and at Neighborhood Public Radio's (NPR) interactive installation part of the Whitney Biennial 2008.  Part of their NPR (coincidentally another Bay Area artist outfit in New York & who were recently profiled here on the Amoeblog) concert/broadcast included all 30 members (as pictured above) singing both inside and outside the sidewalk of Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan where they did a moving rendition of none other than Leonard Cohen's beautiful song "First We Talk Manhattan."

Other Bay Area peeps in the Big Apple over the weekend included the mash-up party DJ/promoters Mysterious D (pitcured below) and Adrian from Bootie SF (profiled here on the Amoeblog last year) in town for their monthly Bootie NYC party at the Vault (an annex of the club Element) in downtown Manhattan on Friday. That same night a few blocks away at the Cake Shop the the amazing SF rock group Citay, who had driven up from a gig in Philly the night before after being at SxSW the week before, were in the New York area Friday and Saturday  doing a  few gigs including one on WFMU (on Bay Area transplant Liz Berg's great weekly show) and one at the Lower East Side club (as pictured above in the low-ceilinged basement performance space) in which they won over everyone in the house with their rich, crisp and clean sound and perfect mix that highlighted their vocals and layers of guitar.  Also over the weekend longtime Bay Area DJ Spun, who actually lives in New York these days, was representing Rong Music and spinning at both APT and Easy Lover Loft.

Shrimper Records

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, March 24, 2008 12:20am | Post a Comment



No, not the Upland indie label.  I'm talking the slang term for toe fetish...Here's a 'gorgeous' gallery of barefoot babes of both genders along with a couple of artists interpretations of the ped. Fairly gross, I know, but where else are you going to find such a collection???






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Gee, Ain't It Funny? Horror and Bertolt Brecht Don't Mix: Funny Games (2007)

Posted by Charles Reece, March 23, 2008 10:43pm | Post a Comment


Depicting beauty gets a free pass compared to depicting violence.  Mankind's history of brutality indicates that violence is as much -- if not more -- a determining factor in the creation of what now constitutes civilized self than our love for beautiful things.  Why, then, no "that portrait of the beautiful Contessa is pure exploitation?"  Accusations of exploitation only enter when there's a gaping wound involved (or prurient nudity, which is objected to on the grounds that it does violence to its subject -- an objection that is, in practice, limited to pornography for heterosexual men).  It's assumed that there's something wrong with you for taking any sort of pleasure in the the depiction of the violent side of our cultural constitution.  Despite that, I had a real enjoyable time the other day at the moving picture show thanks to Michael HanekeFunny Games is a good, psychological thriller that's no more gruesome than Psycho, largely due to Haneke's mastery of Hitchockian prestidigitation.  Just like Morrison in Florida, the meat of the matter is more suggested than shown.  Many critics were distraught over Haneke's hooks-on-the-eyelids sadism anyway, referring to his film as another instance of "torture porn" and/or that it's nothing but a misery to sit through (at least for right-thinking folk):

  • The “Hostel” pictures and their ilk revel in the pornography of blood and pain, which Mr. Haneke addresses with mandarin distaste, even as he feeds the appetite for it.  -- A. O. Scott
  • To a healthy human mind, however, it’s one of the most repugnant, unpleasant, sadistic movies ever made. No matter what virtues of craft one can find within, no matter what themes lie beneath, Funny Games is aesthetically indefensible. -- Andy Klein
  • Professional obligations required that I endure it, but there's no reason why you should. -- J. Hoberman
  • The joke is on arthouse audiences who show up for Funny Games, which is basically torture porn every bit as manipulative and reprehensible as Hostel, even if it's tricked out with intellectual pretension. -- Lou Lumenick
  • [T]he film itself inched close to the sort of exploitational detail that it was supposed to abhor—a proximity that only gets worse in this later version, which adds a definite carnal kick to the sight of the heroine being forced to strip to her underwear. -- Anthony Lane

In truth, Haneke brings much of that kind of moralizing on himself.  In an interview with Scott Foundas, he gives his reason for remaking his German-language film in English, namely to better address its target audience: "For the consumers of violence — in other words, Americans."  Evidently, Germans and other Europeans aren't the ones who come first to his mind when it comes to enjoying the representational infliction of pain on others.  Maybe he believes his countrymen don't consume specular violence when they have a recent history with the real thing ... but I doubt it.  Rather, it's due to a moralizing European arthouse pretension, as can be read in an interview he did with Jim Wray: "Funny Games['s] subject is Hollywood’s attitude toward violence. And nothing has changed about that attitude since the first version of my film was released — just the opposite, in fact."  He'd probably suggest turd-munching served a real aesthetic purpose when Pasolini used it, but not so much when John Waters did -- if Haneke ever contemplated the aesthetics of coprophagia, that is.  Not to be outdone by the Europeans -- and as a function of their culture-envy -- the middlebrow American critics attempt to prove their highbrow bona fides by turning the table on Haneke, dismissing his film as another instance of the (sub-)genre he was himself purportedly condemning (cf. the video above).  Haneke isn't above the Americans, say they, he's just as bad.

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