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Secret Society of the Sonic Six, Chrome, Savage Rep & More!!!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 10, 2008 10:30pm | Post a Comment

Mad Men - Crazy Like a Fox

Posted by Miss Ess, October 10, 2008 03:02pm | Post a Comment
I think I'm in looooooooove.mad men cast

I've just started watching Mad Men Season 1, and I am already obsessed with it-- the aesthetics, the smart writing, the subtlety and the way the show plumbs the depths of its own artifice. It's a bit spine-tingling.

I know I am a little slow to get to this. I had been avoiding all the press about this show up till now (cause I knew I would get to the DVDs eventually and didn't want to ruin it) so it is all new to me still, and if for some reason you have not caught on either, it's about time. The show, as everyone knows by now, is about an ad agency in the early 60s, but it's more about the internal lives of each of the employees, centering around shadowy alpha male Don Draper (Jon Hamm). Tmad men office casthe sets, styling and camera shots are extraordinary, very filmic.

It's a visual feast as well as an intellectual one. The show's storylines are juicy and complex -- all those nice, satisfying layers that the best writing adds to characters. It's amazing and intriguing to watch each one's veneer shatter, to see the underbelly and reality of the early 60s in America. I can't recommend this show more highly!

And for once can say I like a show that's not trash! I can respect myself in the morning! What a relief.

I know I am not alone in this. Check out what Brad had to say about it here, and BillyJam here. I just couldn't resist adding my own excitement to the bunch. Oh yeah, and they just won a slew of Emmys too...I guess I really am the last person to catch on!

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More Funky Than Too Funky? (supermodels, shock and a new movie from Katsuhito Ishii)

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, October 9, 2008 07:30pm | Post a Comment
Thierry Mugler's motorbike dress in George Michael's Too Funky music video 
I'll never forget the first time I witnessed the awesome spectacle of George Michael's "Too Funky" video. I was already borderline obsessed with fashion in the mid-1990's and thought highly of Michael's supermodel-laden "Freedom 90" video, but the visual candy of "Too Funky" as designed, styled and directed by then notorious fashion designer Thierry Mugler made the voyeuristic appeal and "freeing" acts of destruction that comprise the "Freedom 90" video seem trite by comparison. I don't care how precious and pretty Linda Evangelista looked as she lip synched inside her sweater, I'd rather see her (along with Christy Turlington, Tyra Banks, Eva Herzgovina and, my favorite, Nadja Auermann, to name a few) strutting her actual supermodel stuff on an actual catwalk, flaunting actual fashion while George Michael repeats, "everybody wants a lover like that," which is precisely what the "Too Funky" music video delivers, and in such a fabulous manner that it cannot possibly be copied -- sorry En Vogue.

So, how about that "Motorbike" dress? Pretty amazing isn't it? Certainly not for everyday wear, but a girl's gotta have options. I remember thinking this playful ensemble shocking, in a good way. Actually, after having just viewed the 'director's cut' of the "Too Funky" video, I got to thinking about what the definition of shocking was a little over ten years ago as far as the mainstream media is concerned. Of course, I got to thinking about everything Madonna: her "Lucky Star" midriff beginnings, her metal-bound Sex book, Erotica, the "Justify My Love" video and a particular scene from her Blonde Ambition tour documentary Madonna - Truth or Dare where Madge is informed by Canadian police that she'll be arrested if she touches herself suggestively during her performance of "Like A Virgin." With Madonna the list goes on and on, but if one were to judge her overall shock value by the percentage of the audience that sings along to her tune, counting both lovers and haters alike, I bet there wouldn't be any shocking findings at all, at any point in her career. Perhaps she really has done it all. And if that be the case, what in the world can be deemed shocking today? For my part, I'd like to submit Katsuhito Ishii's film Funky Forest: the First Contact (two disc DVD now out from Viz Media) for review, as it's the most shocking thing I've seen recently.
Asano Tadanobu and Susumu Terajima in Katsuhito Ishii's Funky Forest
So far, I love all the Ishii films I've been able to lock my sights on: Sharkskin Man and the Peach Hip Girl, Party 7, Taste of Tea -- I love them so much I cannot pick a favorite; they're like candy. One of the main reasons I felt shock when I watched Funky Forest for the first time is that it fulfilled all my expectations while successfully deflating them at the same time. It's like when someone decides to give you a 'sexy' cake for your birthday. Of course you didn't expect to get a cake shaped like giant genitals, but you did expect cake and there is no question about whether or not you're gonna eat it. But is it tasty? Funky Forest is a tasty cake of a movie diguised as disjointed, patchwork quilt handstiched by your reclusive little Edie Beale looking, ex-showgirl aunt who happens to moonlight as a Chris Cunningham mutant who watches too much TV Carnage. Threads of several stories are woven loosely with only a few coinciding; however, belly laughs and nervous giggles abound as situations break off, start up and proceed to get weirder and weirder. It's unlike any of his previous films; it's certainly funky and totally fun.

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Oakland's The High Decibels to play Element Lounge tonight

Posted by Billyjam, October 9, 2008 05:51pm | Post a Comment
          

Unique new Oakland hip-hop group The High Decibels, whose recently released debut album HP on Rolling Jack Records melds rap, rock, and blues, are playing a must-see show tonight at the Element Lounge at 1028 Geary Ave. in San Francisco. At this evening's show the group's two front men/emcees, main-man Duke and his back up/hype-man Chief (above), will be joined by the tight High Decibels live band led by group founder & album producer KC Booker who will be playing electric guitar, along with Aaron Taunton on electric bass, and Deane Jenkins on drums. Unfortunately superswift DJ Gordo Cabeza, who does a stellar job cutting it up throughout the new album, will not be joining them for tonight's show, but no matters, it should still be an off the hook concert.

I have already seen the High Decibels perform twice in the past few weeks and each time they exuded a level of professionalism not normally associated with a local hip-hop act who have just dropped their first record. Each of these recent shows were semi-informal and were attended by only a handful -- one in KC's North Oakland living-room for a Imeen.com video taping & the other (also in North Oakland) was a live remote WFMU radio broadcast that I produced last week. At each of these performances they connected with the few in attendance and remarkably (especially for live hip-hop) sounded even better than on their record!

Expect the set for tonight's show to be drawn exclusively from their 13 track album and to include such favorites as"Duke Gonna Get Em," "Crash With No Cushion," "Who Knew Duke," and "Miss Cindy." At tonight's show they may or may not be sharply dressed (like on the album cover, left), donning their stylish suits, shirts, and ties. "They [suits] get too hot to perform in sometimes," laughed Duke. And what about that classic large 1988 model boombox also featured on the album cover? "We bring it round with us always to play beats off it," said Duke. But they will not need to bring it for tonight's High Decibels show.

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Mariee Sioux Chats

Posted by Miss Ess, October 9, 2008 04:34pm | Post a Comment
Mariee Sioux's songs are some of the most intricate and evocative I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. Her lyrics are often stream of consciousness-like and flooded with images of nature and Native American symbolism, part of Mariee's heritage. She has a way of weaving together beautiful melodies with impressionistic words and creating incredible songs. I highly recommend Mariee's debut album, Faces in the Rocks, which came out last year on Grass Roots Records. You can hear some of the songs from the album and check out her tour dates here, and you can see images from Mariee's Amoeba instore from a while back right here. Read on for our chat about her middle school musical tastes and the French, among other things...

mariee sioux

Miss Ess: When did you start writing songs?

Mariee: When I was about 18 I wrote some songs with some friends in a little girl band we named "Gale Music"...then after that they just started flowin'. But I've always written things, whether it was journals, weird stories as a kid or even weirder poems as a kid. Then I went on this trip to Patagonia and brought my mom's guitar and just started writingjeff mangum some tunes down there.

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