Amoeblog

LAMPOONING LOHAN, DINA THE "STAY AT CLUB MOM"

Posted by Billyjam, May 26, 2008 04:11pm | Post a Comment

Since the new over-hyped celebreality TV show Living Lohan (starring Lindsay's mom Dina Lohan and the family) premieres tonight,  I thought it a good time to re-watch or check out for the first time, if you haven't seen them already, some of the recent clips of Tracey Ullman lampooning the celebrity's mom/manager.

Taken from Ullman's current American television program Tracey Ullman's State of the Union on  Showtime are three clips below of Ullman as Dina. In the first she is captured on camera out at a nightclub -- a place for the "stay at club moms" -- liberally offering advice on rehab for her celebrity kids.  "You gotta get em in early......You can't O.D. your way in anymore."

In the second, even funnier scene, Ullman again channels Dina Lohan out in da club on a night when the young Ali Lohan falls down from partying too hard.  "Give her some red bull and vodka" is the caring mother's advice too late. Ali drops dead in this no-holds-barred comedy sketch. In the third clip, Ullman as the mommy Lohan is (again) out clubbing with her pals in a scenario where she confronts Britney's mom Lynne Spears who she feels is patronizing her.

The fourth and final clip below is a promo for the original Dina Lohan in the new reality show Living Lohan that premieres tonight on E!, apparently as a vehicle to launch the career of her next in line celebrity child, 14 year old Ali. I predict tonight's ratings for E!, which strategically also is launching another hot celebrity reality show today -- Denise Richards: It's Complicated -- will have the highest ratings of the cable network's history.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAUL WELLER: THE MODFATHER TURNS 50

Posted by Billyjam, May 25, 2008 08:30pm | Post a Comment

Paul Weller,
accomplished solo artist and former leader and founder of both The Jam and The Style Council, turns 50 today. Weller, who has been dubbed "the Modfather" because of his being the key figure in the UK mod revivalist movement of the seventies, was born John William Weller on May 25th, 1958. He began making music in his early teens and in fact was still only a teenager when The Jam scored their first UK hit ("In The City") in '77.  The Jam, whose mod revivalist sound lay somewhere in between punk and new wave and were huge in Britain but never equally so Stateside, scored eighteen British Top 40 singles (four of them number one pop hits). After The Jam disbanded in 1982, Weller formed Style Council in 1983 and experienced continued major success. In the nineties he went solo, at first calling himself and his backing band the Paul Weller Movement -- later dropping the "Movement" part and just going by his own name.

In celebration of his birthday, below are a selection of videos from the artist's illustrious career that has spanned 30 + years. I've Included a few from from way back in the day with The Jam (how young he looks then!), such as a 1977 live version of their first hit single "In The City," and a TV studio (lip synched) version of "Down In The Tube Station" on UK TV circa 1978, and also "This Is The Modern World" live in concert. There are three songs/two video clips of the Style Council: the video of "Speak Like A Child" off their first album, 1983's Introducing and a live concert excerpt from two years later of them performing 'Internationalist' and 'Walls Come Tumbling" in 1985 to a huge audience at Wembley Stadium and on TV around the world as part of  Live Aid.  Then there is a video of "From the Floorboards Up" being performed live on Jools Holland's TV show in 2005, as well as a live acoustic guitar/vocal duo with Noel Gallagher doing a great rendition of The Jam's "That's Entertainment." Happy birthday Paul Weller!

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Pickwick Records

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, May 24, 2008 05:30pm | Post a Comment


In 1950, Cy Leslie formed Pickwick Records out of the ashes of children's music label Voco records. Before that, he was in the recorded greeting card business. By '53 he was building his budget LP empire. This would eventually include the Design, Bravo, International Award, Hurrah, Hilltop, Quintessence and Grand Prix imprints as well as very popular children's records on the Cricket, Mr. Pickwick and Happy Times labels. In the UK many releases were issued under the Hallmark Records moniker.  Specializing in genre releases early on, the focus was on the honky tonk piano, lounge and pop vocal market.  Utilizing unknown session players and stock photography, Pickwick filled dimestores with cheap fodder. Later licensing agreements with major labels like Capitol, Motown and RCA brought a bit of legitimacy, but the company was still churning out plenty of fodder. A favorite subgenre of mine is the hit movie exploitation album. (I've been saving images from various film exploitation albums for a future posting.)  Especially prevalent in the UK during the late 60's and early 70's were compilation albums by Top of the Pops, Mirror Image, Kings Road and a host of other phony bands doing covers with production values seemingly just a step aboveMSR level recordings.

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This Day In History, May 23rd

Posted by Whitmore, May 23, 2008 10:03pm | Post a Comment

I was wandering the web, studying ridiculous conspiracy theories, keeping track of the stock market, and wasting an otherwise perfectly fine Friday evening, when I decided to research this date in history, May 23rd. And not surprisingly, it’s kind of scatologically interesting:

1701 - Infamous Pirate, Captain William Kidd, is hanged in London for his crimes on the high seas.
1900 - Sergeant William Harvey Carney becomes the first African-American to be awarded the Medal of Honor, for his heroism in the Assault on the Battery Wagner during the Civil War, some 37 years after the fact.
1929 - The first all-talkie Mickey Mouse cartoon, The Karnival Kid, is released.
1934 - Notorious folk heroes/bank robbers/FBI most wanted/eventual 1960’s movie anti-heroes, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow are ambushed and murdered on a desolate road near Bienville Parish, Louisiana by a posse of four Texas and three Louisiana police officers.
1958 - Mao Tse Tung starts his "Great Leap Forward" movement in China.
1960 - Israel’s Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion announces that Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann has been captured. Eichmann will be executed two years later on June 1, 1962.
1960 - "Cathy's Clown" by the Everly Brothers topped the pop-charts and will stay there for 5 weeks.
1966 - The Beatles release their eleventh single “Paperback Writer;” it will go to Number One everywhere in the world, even Canada.
1968 - Not that it was a good idea, but the Beatles open their second Apple Boutique at 161 New Kings Road in London.
1971 - And though I don’t believe this because I saw them in about 1977 when I really wasn’t old enough to get into the Whisky -A-Go-Go, the legendary rock group, Iron Butterfly -- creators of the 17:05 opus “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” disbands.

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What Do You Call A Commercial That Sells Only Itself? The Fall (2008)

Posted by Charles Reece, May 23, 2008 03:08pm | Post a Comment
The opening credit sequence to Tarsem Singh's The Fall looks like a Calvin Klein ad: shot in black & white, pretty and elliptical, a dead horse is pulled out of a river with a crane attached to railroad bridge.  And, boy howdy, the critics don't much like the film!  It received a 58/100 from both Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes.  Without exception, every negative review mentions the commercial and music video background of Tarsem (as he is credited). That's a cudgel that's been used on Ridley Scott, David Fincher and other directors coming out of the commercial video world, often with good reason.  For example, Se7en wasn't much more than an overly long Nine Inch Nails video. The problem isn't that commercial and video works lack craft or aestheticism (as they once did), but that their instrumental value as shills for products culturally diminishes any value they might otherwise have as art.  Iggy Pop once asked rhetorically what did it matter how he used his songs so long as he initially created them for himself.  Well, is it possible for anyone under 50 to watch Alain Resnais and Marguerite Duras' meditation of time and memory, Hiroshima mon amour:


Without having the experience diminished by having seen tons of Calvin Klein ads like the following?


Resnais' visual style has been corrupted -- maybe not forever, but for as long as ad agencies continue to rip him off. Thus, as long as Tarsem continues to blow his aesthetic load during the commercial breaks for Lost (its viewers being the target audience for the type of commodities his visuals sell), his films will be taken about as meaningfully as "Lust For Life" or Moby's entire oeuvre.  Still, it takes a lot of skill and knowledge to make something that looks and plays like this:

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