Amoeba Music and Phil Blankenship are proud to present some of our film favorites at Los Angeles’ last full-time revival movie theater. See movies the way they're meant to be seen - on the big screen and with an audience!
Saturday September 13
1995, 131 min
New Beverly Cinema
7165 W Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
With special guest Rena Riffel (Penny) and others TBA in person, schedules permitting!
Now that fall is suddenly approaching, I started to reflect on the summer that is coming to a close. This summer was one of my busiest in some time. It seemed that there was always something to do and not enough hours in the day to do it all. Over the summer I played in two bands, did some guest spots on the radio, finished an album and played way too many DJ gigs. All the while, I went to work full time and tried not to fall behind on the Amoeba blog (Which I did…sorry.). With the economy being what it is, everyone is out there hustling. The days of making art for art’s sake are a luxury most cannot afford. Many of us are surviving on every penny we make outside of the nine to five. Extra money goes straight into the gas tank or to food rather than buying records or getting new equipment, where it had gone in the past. Still, I can’t really complain because most people who have two jobs do a gig that they don't enjoy and my work I consider to be fun and always a learning experience. Nevertheless, I could use a vacation.
These are some highlights from my summer. Not all of it was work related. Some of it was a welcomed relief from my hectic schedule.
1. Worldwide Underground
(Sundays @ Amoeba during July & August)
For a few years I had the idea of having a World Music DJ series at Amoeba. One day I proposed the idea to Jim & Karen, our bosses here at Amoeba Hollywood, and to my surprise they liked the idea. I was the “curator” so to speak, and I got together some of L.A.’s best club DJ’s to play the music that they love but don’t necessarily get to play at the clubs. The DJ’s that rocked our turntables were Anthony Valadez (KCRW), Jeremy Sole (KCRW, Afro Funke), Sloe Poke (Descarga, Sonido), Lady Sha (Lioness LA), Nnamdi (From KPFK’s Radio Afrodicia), Coleman (Firecracker), Chico Sonido (Mas Exitos), Drez (way too many clubs to list!), Rani D (Soul In The Park) & all the way from England, Andy Votel (B-Music, Finders Keepers). Each DJ brought their own flavor to the mix; from Afro-Beat to Zouk, the DJ’s took us around the musical globe. I also got to play a couple of sets as well. It was an honor to be associated with the DJ’s I listed above. Hopefully we will get to do it again in the years to come. Thanks to Jim & Karen, Jayme, my sound person extraordinaire and my good friend Sasha Ali, who pushed me in the right direction by getting phone numbers of some of the DJ's I didn't know personally.
One hundred years ago today the weirdly brilliant American composer and one of the pioneers of contemporary experimental and electronic music, Raymond Scott, was born. While his name may not be instantly recognizable, his musical compositions are, and though Scott never actually composed music specifically for cartoons, most anybody -- any age, anywhere -- who ever watched an old Warner Brothers’ Bugs Bunny cartoon or a Ren & Stimpy episode or even the Simpsons or Animaniacs would recognize some of Scott’s extraordinary pieces like “Powerhouse” and “The Toy Trumpet.”
He was born Harry Warnow in Brooklyn, New York, September 10, 1908. After graduating from The Institute of Musical Art (later renamed Juilliard) in 1931, Scott was hired as a staff pianist with the CBS Radio network orchestra conducted by his brother Mark Warnow; he took the name Raymond Scott specifically to avoid talk of nepotism. Scott soon began presenting his own bizarre and quirky compositions like “Confusion Among a Fleet of Taxicabs Upon Meeting with a Fare.” By the mid 1930’s these unexpected eccentricities started creeping into the CBS Radio broadcasts and the American subconscious. For the next four decades he would go on to record for several major labels including Brunswick, Columbia, Decca, MGM, Coral, Everest, and Top Rank. He always managed to sell records, even with such Duchampian-like song titles such as "Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry Cannibals", "Reckless Night on Board an Oceanliner", "New Year's Eve in a Haunted House", "Bumpy Weather Over Newark", "Celebration on the Planet Mars", and "Siberian Sleighride".
The musically eclectic arranger, composer, and producer Hector Zazou, widely known for his collaborative work with such artists as Brian Eno, Bjork, Siouxsie Sioux, Peter Gabriel, Mark Isham, Nico, John Cale, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and David Sylvian of Japan, died this week.
He was just 60 years old. Cause of death has not yet been made public, although it was reported by NME magazine that he had "fallen seriously ill" earlier this year. The French artist effortlessly cross-pollinated musical boundaries from electronic to rock, pop & folk, and into a myriad of different world music and classical styles.
Zazou leaves behind a deep back catalog of recordings that include the soon to be released album In the House of Mirrors (Crammed), an electronic tinged classical Asian composition that showcased the Indian-Uzbekestani four-piece Swara. Other releases by Zazou during his prolific career include 1979's La Perversita and 1994's atmospheric & eclectic Songs from the Cold Seas (titled in his native France as Chansons des mers froides) that epitomized the artist's knack for melding various artists and their respective divergent sensibilities -- somehow making it all sound like it was meant to go together in the first place.
Below are a couple of videos of the artist's music, including "The Seven Joys of the Virgin Mary" from the CD Lights In The Dark and "IS" by Hector Zazou featuring British born singer Katiejane Garside, who is featured on the Hector Zazou's last released album, Corps électriques, which came out in January this year.