Amoeblog

The late, great Cab Calloway on his 100th birthday,

Posted by Whitmore, December 29, 2007 01:21pm | Post a Comment

The legendary saint Cab Calloway, brought into existence on Christmas, was never off the cob, he was the heppest cat, the gasser on the scene, and scribe to the Dictionary of Hepology, not just any book of lingo like some hincty gate-mouth might cop to, emphatically no! This man’s a poet! Hey, Calloway was solid, a ready cat with serious chops, never capped, I mean never capped. Cabell Calloway III licks hit all the armstrongs every time with those "hi-de-hi's," and "ho-de ho's, singing in that blip beat key, swinging overcoats growling some hip and hot gammin’ grooves. Be it a gutbucket blues, the ready racket on the main kick or just some clambake where he’s got this cat riffing on the doghouse - hitting all the basso notes, cool Gabriel wigging on a boogie-woogie and some Jack on skins mugging heavy, Cab always crept out like the shadow, stylish threads togged to the bricks, walking hand made, custom to the thread mezz ground grippers … on each arm, a fine righteous queen he dug the last black, each dicty dutchess fresh off the dreamers and lily whites. 

At one point Cab was collaring 200 g’s a year, that’s one foxy stack of fins. Platter gravy coming on like a test pilot, cuts like "Minnie the Moocher", “Reefer Man” and "St. James Infirmary Blues" were everywhere man, chicks breakin’ it up, dropping a nickel or a dime note just to latch onto the hippest cat who could send the coolest riff riding high. Cab the man was the man; kids come again to the Cotton Club in the Apple, rug cutters Trucking, Pecking, or bugging to the Susie-Q, never no fraughty issue here. That’s the Bible baby! Cab and the cats digging a mess, one riff after another, and every hot killer jam taking off, that combo was always bustin’ conk, breaking up the joint like gangbusters. Zazu-zazu-zazu-zay! No room here for icky squares who can't collar the jive. The jitterbuggers at the Cotton Club always had a hummer of a ball. Yeah! Whipped up! Jumpin’ and mitt pounding till the chimes say its way past early bright. Ow!

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Empathy for the Devil: The Lives of Others (2006), Black Book (2006), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

Posted by Charles Reece, December 28, 2007 06:12pm | Post a Comment
Doing terrible things in an organized and systematic way rests on "normalization." This is the process whereby ugly, degrading, murderous, and unspeakable acts become routine and are accepted as "the way things are done." There is usually a division of labor in doing and rationalizing the unthinkable, with the direct brutalizing and killing done by one set of individuals; others keeping the machinery of death (sanitation, food supply) in order; still others producing the implements of killing, or working on improving technology (a better crematory gas, a longer burning and more adhesive napalm, bomb fragments that penetrate flesh in hard-to-trace patterns). It is the function of defense intellectuals and other experts, and the mainstream media, to normalize the unthinkable for the general public. -- Edward S. Herman

Sympathy is much easier to come by than empathy.  Funny that, since it would seem easier to disinterestedly understand the conditions leading to another's feelings and reasons behind his or her actions than to actually share those feelings and agree with those reasons, particularly when the other is so different from oneself.  I suspect the dominance of the word 'sympathy' is largely due to not enough people appreciating the need for 'empathy,' or even understanding what the word means, as if the two terms were synonyms.  Thus, when the more ethnographically inclined among us suggest America needs to understand the environs or rational structures of a foreign entity perpetrating some act that we deem immoral, they get called traitors, or sympathizers.  HUAC in the 50s springs readily to mind, as well as the right-wing media's reaction to the intellectual Left's take on 9-11.  Classical liberalism, which serves as the bellwether for America's moralizing, defines the human as a self-regulating rational individual, and thus any action taken by an entity (our state, another state, or some hodge-podge collection of disagreeing radicals) that violates the rights of the human so defined is, ipso facto, inhumane.  Thus, any attempt at humanizing, eliciting empathy for, the ad hoc devil will be received about as judiciously as Hannah Arendt's "banality of evil" in 60s Israel -- which is to say, not very to downright hostilely.  This negative reaction is always despite any potential moral agreement that the devil should still be hanged.

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Come On Down to Amoeba Tonight! Catch Andy Cabic and Zach Cowie Blowing Up the Turntables

Posted by Miss Ess, December 28, 2007 05:26pm | Post a Comment
Tonight if you are in San Francisco, come on over to Amoeba and check out a DJ set by two musical masters of all things obscure:  Zach Cowie and Andy Cabic!

Andy Cabic you know from his band Vetiver.

andy cabic vetivervetiver andy cabic alissa anderson otto

Zach Cowie is a member of the LA-based DJ crew Small Town Talk and he is also single handedly responsible for turning me on to so many crazy tunes I never would have heard otherwise. 

zach cowie small town talksmall town talk zach cowie

In other words, their DJ set is gonna be flawless-- these guys are highly skilled pro-fessionals-- so if you are around, come and listen.  They'll be spinning vinyl from 7-9 pm.

Jackson C. Frank - Blues Run the Game

Posted by Miss Ess, December 28, 2007 04:42pm | Post a Comment
Jackson C. Frank has one of the more sad stories in music history.

jackson c frank

The good news is the music he created is fantastic.

He was a part of the folk music scene in the early/mid 60s.  He only released one full length album injackson c frank album cover simon and garfunkle art paul1965, which is self titled and beautiful.  It's a melancholy collection of songs, but it's one of my favorite records.  Frank's voice is strong and deep.  I feel like it brings a lot of emotion to the songs he sings.  I like the fact also that the songs sound a little faraway, like the equipment they were recorded on was old and on the brink of death.  Oh yeah, and it was produced with said eloquence by Paul Simon-- yeah, the Paul Simon.

sandy denny Although he was American, Frank was thick in the scene of musicians in London in the mid 60s, and that's also where Paul Simon happened to be.  Frank was also friends with Sandy Denny, even dated her for a while, Bert Jansch, who covered "Blues Run the Game," Al Stewart and more.  Nick Drake also covered several of his songs and Roy Harper is said to have written a song about him.

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SANTA'S GHETTO BETHLEHEM 2007

Posted by Billyjam, December 28, 2007 05:15am | Post a Comment
          

Aritst Ron English, recently interviewed here on the Amoeblog about his new books and interviewed again here for this report, has just returned to the US after a most interesting visit immediately before Christmas to Palestine where he was a part of the unique Santa's Ghetto Bethlehem 2007 art project. He joined several other "street artists" from around the world, including renowned British artist Banksy (the project's mastermind).

While in Bethlehem Ron posted his art on the controversial Palestine wall and fence as well as in places nearby the wall. The unique ongoing annual art exhibition was held in Bethlehem this year by Banksy reportedly in the hope that it would focus attention on the poverty of the West Bank and draw tourists back to the traditional birthplace of Christianity.

To the left and down below are some of the pieces by Banksy. Immediately above and below are two of the pieces by Ron English.  All of these pieces along with many others were posted on the website SantasGhetto which, note, in the days before posting this  blog, had just been been "closed" but may be open again. Meantime, check out both Ron English's Popaganda site where on the first page is a segment titled "This Christmas in Bethlehem" and also Banksy's main website.

Banksy created the Santa's Ghetto project six years ago when he felt that the spirit of Christmas was being lost. "It was becoming increasingly uncommercialized and more and more to do with religion, so we decided to open our own shop and sell pointless stuff you didn't need," said the artist in a statement at the time.  

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