Amoeblog

out today...5/27...cyndi lauper...booka shade...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 29, 2008 07:02pm | Post a Comment

Cyndi Lauper
was right up there along with Madonna and Prince back in the 80's. They were for sure my first favorite artists that I obsessed over. And I was not alone. I blame it on MTV, but you have to give them credit for creating millions of fans out of these sort of weird artists. Somebody who looked like Prince or Cyndi Lauper would never make it on American Idol today. They would be included in the group of contestants who never make it, that everyone laughs at. I know it was a different time back then, but it still is amazing how popular music has became so boring and basic. I try to stay away from American Idol. I just avoid it because I know it will make me mad, but I happened to catch the last 15 minutes of the finale last week. The contestants are always the same. They have decent enough voices but they never have any style or substance to them. They are just exact replicas of the contestants of seasons before them. They have the rocker dudes, the high school musical showtunes people. The boring R&B singers. I would really love to see somebody like Cyndi Lauper on that show-- somebody totally crazy and unique. I don't think it will probably happen. The mainstream music fan has become complacent with boring music and is just not interested in anything a bit weird. Where is the next Cyndi Lauper? Will there every be another Morrissey or Robert Smith? Another Marilyn Manson? Where are the weirdos? The 80s really was all about the rise of the freak and weirdo. It is really amazing Cyndi Lauper became as popular as she did. She was like nothing before her. The songs were pure perfect pop and she had one of those unique brilliant voices. Anybody who was a bit weird themselves was drawn to her. They identified with her for being an outcast and weirdo, but then she became one of the most popular and recognizable singers of the 80s.

Cyndi Lauper is one of those artists that just makes me happy anytime I think about her. I smile whenever I think of her in the "We Are The World" video or in the video for "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough." I hate to imagine my life without her. How could I have got through the 80s without "Time After Time,"  "She Bop," "Change of Heart," and "When You Were Mine?" I remember being excited whenever I heard her on the radio or TV. The 80s would have certainly not been as interesting and fun without her. Maybe Cyndi should have her own reality show. It could be the search for the next Cyndi Lauper or the search for the next weirdo. Cyndi does have a new album out this week as well. Her album from a couple years ago was a pop vocals standards sort of album. This is nothing like that. It goes more back to what you might expect from her. The album is very dancey and very gay friendly. She still manages to make some super fun songs. Not sure I will be listening to it very much more, but I still love her and will most likely be seeing her in concert again when she brings her gay positive True Colors Tour to town.

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Edendale and the Beginning of the West Coast Film Industry

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 29, 2008 06:15pm | Post a Comment

This edition of the Los Angeles neighborhood blog is about historic Edendale. To vote for more neighborhoods, click here. To vote for Los Angeles county communities, click here. To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.

C
hicagoan William Selig had a background in vaudeville and, as a teen, was part of a traveling minstrel show. In 1894 he witnessed a demonstration of Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope at an exhibition in Dallas. Upon returning to the Middle West, he set up his own photography studio and began researching how to make movies in a way that wouldn't get him in trouble with the notoriously patent-protecting Edison who wasn't above hiring armed goons to stop anyone from infringing on his cartel.

   

             Francis Boggs                                        Selig-Polyscope Studio                                          William Selig

 In 1896 Selig set up the Selig Polyscope Company with director & actor Francis W. Boggs. They began filming actualities, industrial films and travelogues.  Francis Boggs was from Santa Rosa or Newman, California (there were no census records). 

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Vashti Bunyan Chats

Posted by Miss Ess, May 28, 2008 07:00pm | Post a Comment
Vashti Bunyan's seminal 1970 album Just Another Diamond Day contains some of the most pastoral songs you ever could hear. Written while traveling through England in a horse drawn caravan and produced by Joe Boyd back in London, the record perfectly captures a bucolic snapshot of that journey. Vashti had had a brief flirtation with recording previous to Diamond Day, when she cut singles for The Rolling Stones' manager Andrew Loog Oldham in the mid 60s. Soon after Diamond Day was quietly released, she quit music and lived on an isolated farm for many years. Fast forward to 2000, when Diamond Day was re-released after languishing in obscurity for decades. It quickly won a new audience, and Vashti was inspired to write once again, eventually releasing her second album, Lookaftering, in 2005 and touring for the first time. In 2007, Some Things Just Stick Around in Your Mind, a compilation of early unreleased and rare recordings by Vashti, was released. Here, Vashti tells us about her early inspirations, her life on the farm, working with Joe Boyd and picking up the guitar once again after so many years away from it.

vashti bunyan

ME: What kind of music did your parents listen to around the house when you were growing up?
 
Vashti: My father had a great collection of 78 rpm classical records and a huge old radiogram. I have never been able to put names to the music or the composers, just very clear – sometimes note for note -- memories.
 
ME: Was there a particular person in your life early on who particularly nurturedvashti bunyan early days your love of music?
 
Vashti: My father – although I’m sure it wasn’t something he tried to do. Watching him conduct his imaginary orchestra with a look of such pure happiness on his face maybe had an effect. My brother also – who was ten years older than me and went to college for a year in USA, returning with LP records and a suitcase full of all the bits needed to make up a deck for playing them on. Fascinating to a 5 year old.
 
What was the first bit of music you remember hearing that inspired you to write yourself?
 
I haven’t thought about it till now but I remember this piece of music I loved from when I was about five sung by Kathleen Ferrier that began ‘flocks in pastures green abiding.’ Hmm.vashti bunyan 1960s
 
When did you start playing guitar and writing songs? How did you learn to play?
 
My first year at art school, I was 17; my friend Jenny had a guitar and a Bert Weedon guitar book– with the chords for songs like "When the Saints Go Marching In" and others. I fell upon it. I’d had violin lessons before and so I learned very quickly. It wasn’t long before we both started writing mournful love songs.
 
It sounds like you were a shy person starting out in music-- yet it must have taken an incredible amount of courage to seek a label and record tracks. How did you manage to put yourself out there?
 

Yes, I often wonder how I did it. I was shy around people but I did believe in my own songs. I’ve always been amazed at my youngest son, who was a very shy kid until he got on to a basketball court where he suddenly became tall, confident and sure-footed. I felt like that in a recording studio.
 
Can you recall the feeling of "Swinging London?" Any particular memories from this time that stand out?
 bob dylan robert zimmerman
I remember with rebellious pleasure – tinged with guilt -- the way that the older generation were so upset by us all. They had tried desperately to protect us from the hardships they had been through and so unwittingly they gave us minds of our own – and then we flew the nest in ways they could never have dreamed of.
 
When you were first starting out, what artists in particular struck you?

Zardoz ! Saturday Midnight At New Beverly Cinema !

Posted by phil blankenship, May 28, 2008 03:08pm | Post a Comment

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!


Saturday May 31

Sean Connery and Charlotte Rampling in

John Boorman's

Zardoz

1974, 105 min.

New Beverly Cinema
7165 W Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Midnight, $7

 

Beautiful new print from the Fox archive!


June
June 7 Heavenly Bodies

(Phil's 30th BDay Party - FREE Screening!)
June 21 John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness
(Universal Archive 35mm Print! Rare Screening!)
June 28 Van Damme in Sudden Death
(Universal Archive 35mm Print! First revival screening EVER!)

July
July 5 Delta Force

(Celebrate Independence Day weekend - watch Lee Marvin & Chuck Norris kick terrorist BUTT!)
July 19 Just One Of The Guys
July 26 Chopping Mall

(w/ special guests director Jim Wynorski & star Kelli Maroney in attendance, schedules permitting)

August
August 9 Rainbow Brite & The Star Stealer

BRANDI SHEARER & BAND FINE TUNE NEXT ALBUM ON CURRENT TOUR

Posted by Billyjam, May 28, 2008 01:47pm | Post a Comment

"The main problem is that generally when you make an album, you record it first and then (afterwards) you tour. So by the end of the tour the songs are incredible because they are so practiced," said Brandi Shearer, pictured left earlier this week onstage in New York.

"I wanted to do this the right way; to tour first and record the album after....This tour is basically the pre- production."  The Amoeba Records recording artist was speaking two nights ago in New York City, moments after getting off stage to rousing applause at Manhattan's Mercury Lounge where along with current two-piece band -- drummer Ramy Antoun and guitarist Chris Bruce (the musicians on her soon to be recorded next album, and who just got off tour with Seal) -- sounded like they've already honed their sound on all the new tracks enough to go into the studio and record that next album right away.

The studio recording dates won't be for several more weeks, sometime this summer when Craig Street (Cassandra Wilson, Norah Jones,Me'Shell NdegéOcello, John Legend, k.d. lang, Manhattan Transfer etc.) produces the anticipated new album -- the follow up to last year's Close to DarkCurrently Shearer & band are still in the midst of their hectic cross-country tour with another busy week of shows to go, all part of a coast-to-coast Amoeba Music Presents tour that also features Quincy Coleman and Kate Walsh.

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