Amoeblog

Your Pals Are Not What They Seem 2: Faith and Reason in Lost's Season 5 Finale

Posted by Charles Reece, May 30, 2009 02:07pm | Post a Comment
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john lock weird eyes lostjohn locke dead coffin lost

Being a congenital skeptic, I had expected Lost to go the way of other fantasy shows exploring the issue of faith. It began by establishing the central antagonism between its central characters, the rationalist doctor Jack Shephard (the de facto leader -- get it?) and the faith-filled, ironically named John Locke (the namesake of the famous British empiricist whose philosophical inbred progeny was one B. F. Skinner). In regaining the use of his legs after crashing on the island, Locke was granted something of his own revelation. By way of this objective correlative, Locke and the audience had a inkling that there was something more to the island than Jack's skepticism allowed. Throw in a smoke monster, people coming back from the dead and time travel and any reasonable person starts sympathizing with Nochimson's vaginal heroism. The lure is there to wrap the antagonism up in the same generic package as all the aforementioned failed fantasy programs. Affirm faith by killing it with literalism (compare the deracinated horror of Stephen King's CGI-infested movie-adpatation of his The Shining to the dread of Stanley Kubrick's).

Seems to me that faith is both an opening and a closing. The believer must remain open to mysterious possibilities that defy the normative limits given by our best explanatory models while digging his heels in the sand and claiming his irrationally derived belief is the truth. Therefore, faith requires mystery. If the implausible is made normative, as it is so often in fantasy, there is no faith involved. Of course, the recipient (viewer, reader) must maintain a level of faith by way of the classic suspension of disbelief. Similarly, lest the believer become a mere ideologue, he must live with uncertainity, a nagging suspicion that he might be wrong (i.e., not all that different from the fantasy genre's suspension requirement).

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DJ Roger Más

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 30, 2009 03:02am | Post a Comment

I met DJ Roger Más at Mas Exitos a few months back. I bought a few copies of his new single for Amoeba Hollywood based on the strength of his set that night and the fact that he is a label mate with DJ Lengua. Roger Más is a Bay area-based deejay that has a show on 90.7 KALX in Berkeley. He also spins at a few clubs, including The Make-Out Room and Skylark, both located in the Mission District, and The Missouri Lounge in Berkeley. His single is out on Club Unicornio Records.

Both sides are re-workings of somewhat obscure Cumbia and Salsa songs. “Baila Hihi” has a fat beat over a classic Descarga jam with the catchy “Baila, mulata baila” chorus. Personally, I like what he does with the Cumbia track on side B. “Cumbia Bonita” is a reworking of what I believe is the Pacho Galan Y Su Orquesta version of the song. Roger works the Cumbia percussion breakdown perfectly, which makes the track great for a segue from Hip-Hop to Cumbia or from Cumbia to something else. Deejays, I highly recommend this single.

Check out a Q & A with Roger Más right here, written a month ago for the SF Weekly. Also, check out a video made for “Baila Hihi”:

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I Heart Stones Throw

Posted by Smiles Davis, May 29, 2009 02:08pm | Post a Comment
stones throw records
What’s the best thing about living in Los Angeles? If you guessed Amoeba Records, you were close (we’re second-- actually first, according to LA Magazine). The correct answer, or I should say, the appropriate answer, is the surfeit of open-minded music aficionados that breathe and walk the streets every day. Being able to find inspiring and mood altering music readily at your disposal is the sweetest candy; being able to share it with like minded individuals who will appreciate it and celebrate it as much as you is priceless. That is why I heart Stones Throw. The air over at the Stones Throw headquarters is thick with bubbling ingenuity and relentlessness blended meticulously with an appetite for exploring outside the box. With artists like Madlib, Aloe Blacc, Damn Funk and Mayer Hawthorne leaving the swagger and overactive egos at the door, Stones Throw has singlehandedly redefined the definition of cool.

Giles Peterson dubbed Aloe Blaccs last album, Shine Through, as simply “brilliant” and I agree 110%. It's R&B, it's hip-hop, it's in two languages, and it's magic to my ears. I was fortunate enough to catch up with the bilingual, multi-instrumentalist crooner and emcee to ask him about his relationship with Stones Throw, his love for music, his upcoming album, the return of Emanon, and some of his favorite new artists.

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AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP: 05:29:09

Posted by Billyjam, May 29, 2009 07:37am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: 05:29:09
Eminem Relapse
1) Eminem Relapse (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope)

2) Method Man & Redman Blackout! 2 (Def Jam)

3) The Grouch & Eligh Say G&E! (Legendary Music)

4) Busta Rhymes Back On My B.S. (Flipmode/Universal Motown)

5) Tanya Morgan Brooklynati (Interdependent Media)

Eminem's latest full-length, Relapse on Shady/Aftermath/Interscope is the Detroit artist's sixth studio album and his first in five years. It is also in the number slot on the hip-hop chart at Amoeba Music Berkeley this week, just as it ranked last week at the Amoeba Hollywood store. The 20 track album from the 35 year old artist, born Marshall Bruce Mathers III, comes 13 years since his independantly released debut album Infinite, and exactly ten years since his major label breakthrough and first album through Dr Dre's Aftermath Entertainment, The Slim Shady LP.  Dr. Dre not only produced most of the new album (and its promised sequel in a few months) but Dre also cameos on the track "Crack A Bottle" with 50 Cent. As for the reaction to Relapse? It is charting high at Amoeba and elsewhere. Even here in Dublin, Ireland, where I am writing this Amoeblog, it is given high profile in and getting high sales at all the main record stores. But also here in Europe, as in the States, the album has folks divided into the two camps of either loving or hating it. Those who hate it include many former Eminem fans who contend that he has fallen off and is merely going through the motions. Those who love it do admit that it takes a few listens to fully appreciate and warn the faint of heart to be prepared for Em's often unsettling, disturbingly vivid tales of violence and abuse, including, of course, drug abuse, which is the album's theme, based on the artist's open admission to a prescription drugs addiction. 

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Lalo Guerrero "Pancho Claus" b/w "The Burrito"

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 29, 2009 02:09am | Post a Comment
I was going through some singles I had recently purchased and one of them was one by Lalo Guerrero. It wasn’t one of his most famous songs, but it's a great single nonetheless. "Pancho Claus" b/w "The Burrito" was released in 1969 on Cap Latino Records. By then, Lalo was touring and recording with his son, Mark, and his band, Mark & The Escorts. According to Mark Guerrero's website, “Pancho Claus” was a newer version of his classic Christmas song, which he originally recorded in the fifties. It’s the Chicano version of Twas The Night Before Christmas, with mother cooking Enchiladas (I wonder why Lalo didn't mention tamales? Even my Non-Mexican friends know that's when you get tamales? hmmm...), while Dad dances Mambos with the all the ladies. Rather than the kids sleeping, they are listening to The Beatles. During that part of the song, Mark & The Escorts break into “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.” The original 1950s version referred to Elvis, but since it was 1969, Lalo wanted to stay with the times. The next verse describes a drunken uncle that will surely end the fun and prevent Pancho Claus from visiting the household. Eventually, Pacho Claus appears, but not before the drunken uncle breaks into a version of the Mexican classic “Guadalajara.”

The flipside is even better. “El Burrito” is a song about a guy eating a burrito with a girlfriend. The chorus goes: “I’ll bite on one end, you’ll bite on the other, we’ll meet in the middle and then oh brother, we’ll kiss and kiss until we smother, and when it’s gone, we’ll order another.” It’s one of those double-meaning songs that ends with the mother catching the couple sharing the burrito. The mother takes the daughter home and Lalo is left all alone with just his burrito in his hand.

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