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About a month ago when I first started seeing the poster (above) advertising the brand-new Sylvester Stallone Rambo movie, that opens in theaters today, my eyes were just drawn to its strong imagery.
I immediately thought to myself, Wow, what a really great poster, admiring its simple yet powerful, black-on-white stencil silhouette image of Rambo.
No clutter like most movie posters, just that burning image of our hero Rambo -- underneath the actor's last name spelled out in attention-grabbing bold red capital letters. Despite its basic retro simplicity, it was instantly memorable and for some reason seemed so subliminally familiar.
But how? Why? Well, about a week ago I think I figured it out when I read an interview with Tim Palen from the marketing department at Lions Gate (fhe company banking on the film being a big hit). He stated as a matter-of-fact that the poster, which had been very shrewdly designed for the marketplace, was a carefully structured combo of familiar icons.
"We called it Che Guevara crossed with Jesus Christ by way of Andy Warhol,” he told the New York Times, adding about the Rambo character, that, “In a way, he’s all of those.”
We are only on day twenty-five and weekend number four of the new year and already Amoeba Music has kicked into full gear with quality in-store performances already underway. Last weekend talented local hip-hop outfit 40Love put on quite a show at the San Francisco Amoeba Music and last night Sia was scheduled to perform at the Hollywood store. And if you missed that show, don't worry -- Hollywood Amoeba has lots more lined up.
Tomorrow (Saturday) at the Hollywood Amoeba Music store Grace Potter & the Nocturnals are scheduled to perform a mid-afternoon show, starting at 3PM. Meanwhile on Sunday afternoon up in the Bay, Brooklyn's ever-pleasing, hook-laden, synth-driven, female trio Au Revoir Simone (see video above of the song "Fallen Snow" off their new album The Bird of Music) will play a 2PM show at the San Francisco Amoeba on Haight Street that I recommend you attend.
And as always with Amoeba -- all of these cool-ass shows are FREE and ALL AGES. Such a deal! Oh yeah, it may be over three weeks away, but mark your calenders now for Feb 18th when legendary hometown group Flipper play the San Francisco Amoeba Music stage at 6PM.
Of course for Christmas I received the new Elliott Smith book by photographer Autumn DeWilde. All I knew about this book previous to reading it was that it was a photo book of Elliott by Autumn, who photographed him for his Figure 8 cover and made the "Son of Sam" video. I knew it was gonna come with a CD of a Largo show. But I really didn't have any expectations-- and now that I have read the book I'm so glad I didn't because turning each page brought a surprise.
Autumn included not only gorgeous photographs and the live CD, but also interviews with Elliott's friends. His old friends. The ones who truly knew him and cared for him. Toward the end of his life, many of these friends either were left behind or had falling outs with Elliott. As a fan, when I heard about this at the time I was wondering what the heck was going on, thinking things must have gotten really bad. This book answers many questions. It's not exploitative though, it's merely friends talking about a complicated person they love, in good times and in bad.
There are many fantastic stories of Elliott in this book, many that even his biggest fans have not heard before. The interviews were fascinating for me. With each turn of a page, there was someone else I'd been waiting to hear from since his death. The interviews cleared up some mysteries for me, like why he and Jon Brion had stopped talking in the years before his death, and what long time manager Margaret Mittleman was going through in dealing with a highly talented but also highly addicted client.
If you go on YouTube and do a search under the Late Show with David Letterman, odds are that within the first few results netted in your seach will be a clip of the Letterman show posted by active YouTube member MangoFace247. One of several YouTube members who religiously post Letterman clips, MangoFace247 has been a member since last July when he began posting clips with the Letterman show as his specialty. Since then he has posted over 220 clips, an average of one a day, selectively choosing Letterman monologue, interview, and live performance clips to post on YouTube, which he will usually do within hours or by the following day of the actual TV broadcast.
But it was one particular Letterman posting that catapulted MangoFace247 to fame (in YouTube land) when on September 28th, 2007 he uploaded the Paris HIlton interview where Letterman grilled the pouting heiress on her jail stint (which she clearly did not wish to discuss). This clip (below), which he had posted on YouTube even before CBS, created a buzz and ended up getting well over four million hits-- even more than the original broadcast itself. (Note that on average Letterman TV broadcasts get 3.6 million viewers nightly.)
It also made MangoFace247 an instant YouTube celebrity. His name was linked to Paris Hilton's and he was mentioned in gossip columns in papers like the New York Post. I recently caught up with the anonymous "Mango" (who likes to remain incognito but did say that he lives in LA and works in the music business, and also that he sells T-shirts online) via YouTube messages and email to interview him for the Amoeblog.